BY IFEANYI OKOLI
…Why I adopted the name, Evans
…My father refused to pay my fees after his second marriage
…I impregnated my wife when she was 15
EVANS the kidnapper in this part of his gripping story, tells Saturday Vanguard about his life from the cradle to the point he became an inter-state armed robber.
With specifications on the phases leading to his notoriety, he indicted his father and exonerated his mother from being responsible for what he eventually became in life.
This narrative vividly captures his sojourn into marital life, experience in South Africa and first robbery operation among others.
His words: “I was born in the year 1981, to the family of Mr. Steven Onwuamadike of Akamili Town, Umudim Quarters, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State. My father is a trader, who sells auto spare parts in Nnewi, and he is married to three wives. He has 11 children. My mother, Chinwe Onwuamadike, who is my father’s first wife, had six children before they parted ways. I dropped out of secondary school in class two because my father, who had taken a second wife, refused to pay my school fees.
“He gave me out to a businessman, who I served for five years but I was chased out without any settlement. My father later accused me of being a thief and subsequently disowned me. Thereafter, he chased me out of his house.
“I adopted the name Evans while in secondary school. My best friend was the one bearing the name in school and I liked it.
In the year 2002, my mother raised some for money and I relocated to Lagos State where I started selling diesel at Alafia Bus Stop on Lagos/Badagry Expressway.
“While there, I made so many friends including armed robbers and drug barons, but my ambition then was to travel out of the country.
The turning point in my life
“I met a man, who promised to take me to Holland and the man asked me to pay N800,000 for my visa, air ticket and international passport. I borrowed money from my friends and relatives in Nnewi and I gave the money to the man and he ran away with it. That incident marked a turning point in my life. I also met one Kinsley, who was an armed robber. I was able to raise some money and rented a shop at Ladipo Market and I started selling spare parts. In the year 2006, I met my wife, Uchenna during one of my visits to Nnewi and we started dating. She was a 15-year-old girl at that time and was in her final year in secondary school when I impregnated her.
“I went to her family, who were also from Nnewi and asked for her hand in marriage and her family said that they must know what I do for a living before they could allow me to get married to their daughter. They said they didn’t want to have any relationship with a criminal. One of her brothers came to my shop in Ladipo market and inspected it, and he went home and told his family that I had a shop in Lagos. I was allowed to marry their daughter. I left her in the village with my mother.
I sold drugs in South Africa
”I traveled to South Africa, where I started selling drugs. But I had issues with some South Africans who didn’t like paying for drugs. In 2007, one of my customers pulled out a gun and shot me. I was lucky the bullet hit me on my shoulder. I was admitted in a hospital in South Africa and I went through surgery to have the bullet removed. I came back to Lagos in the year, 2008. I was advised to also get native treatment to see if my hands could heal completely. I had two children at that time and after my treatment, I brought my wife to Lagos. We rented a three-bedroom apartment, along Marwa Road, Satellite Town, with the little money I had from my trip to South Africa. I called my friend Kingsley, who I met at Alafia while I was selling diesel and told him my experience in South Africa and I also told him that I was ready to do anything that would fetch me money.
My first operation
“He subsequently linked me up with one of his gang members known as Too-Much-Money in Abia State. Too-Much-Money asked me to come to Aba the next day for a bullion van robbery operation. I traveled to Aba and we went for the operation. We got information that a bullion van carrying huge cash was traveling from Portharcourt to Aba through Aba-Portharcourt Road. We hijacked a tipper we found on the expressway and when the bullion van came close, we rammed into it. The driver of the bullion van ran into a bush but we seized him and his police escort. We carted away N80million from the van and I was given N1.8million as my share after the operation.
The women I slept with
“I made some contacts after the operation because we were over 20 boys from different locations, who came for that operation. Two weeks after that operation, I got a call from one of the boys I met at the Too-Much-Money’s operation and he told me that his boss, whom he identified as ND was planning another bank robbery in Enugu. I called ND and he asked me to meet him in Enugu. He lodged me in a hotel and told me that the job was still at its planning stage. I spent two weeks in Enugu and ND was the one paying for my accommodation and he was also the one paying for my drinks and women I slept with.’’
I was given N200,000 out of N200m loot
“On the day we carried out the robbery we also attacked the Bullion Van with a tipper and it fell off the road. We also attacked its driver and the policemen attached to it. We stole the money in the van. When we got to the place where we would share the money we discovered that ND made over N200million from the operation but he asked his boys, who were all members of the same cult group in Enugu to collect our guns from us and he gave us N200,000 each and asked us to go home because he wanted to make use of the rest of the money. We couldn’t do or say anything. If you think am lying you can c ask ND, he is alive and he is the prison. I went home with the little money I got and I kept hustling for money. Luckily, one other guy known as Nwangwa, who I also met during the Aba operation informed me that one Obele was also planning a Bullion Van robbery on Umuahia Road and the wanted my presence. I came down to Umuahia and we attacked the Bullion Van using a tipper. The driver and police escort opened the Bullion Van and handed over the money in it to us. The money in the van was over N200million and I got N7million as my share. I brought the money to Lagos and rented a shop at Trade Fair Market. My friend, Kingsley later introduced me to one Ehis, who is a kidnapper based in Edo State.
How I started kidnapping
“ I joined Ehis, who had just locally made guns and we kidnapped several rich persons. Ehis linked me up with his gang members known as Omo, Harrison, Igbo Papa, Benin Papa, Biggy, Beke, Ehere, Kingsley, Papa Twins, Prince Joe, Alhaji Igbo and Baba Kekere. We carried out several kidnappings and also invited one of my friends, Henry Hunch-Man, who had assault rifles and we kidnapped several persons including the owner of Kings Paint, who we collected the sum of N7million from. Randeki paid us N11 million. Our last job was a joint kidnapping of Dan Odiete and owner of Uyi Technical. We kept them at the same location and my friend Hunch-Man was the person, who collected the ransom which was around N150million and he ran away with the money. He gave the guy in whose house we kept the victims, N15million and he allowed him to go. That incident tore our gang apart in Edo State and the police came in and started looking for us. My wife and children were in Ghana at that time and I was left with no choice than to flee Edo State to Ghana. I learned that Hunch-man was in Ghana but he wasn’t in Accra, he called me and told that he was going to quit kidnapping because the money he had was enough for him.
“I came back to Nigeria in 2013 and rented an apartment in Lake View Estate, Amuwo Odofin and teamed up with one of my friends known as Uche. We started kidnapping. Uche knew I was big in the business with plenty contacts. He welcomed me and our first operation was the kidnap of a businessman, Raymond Okoye, who sells generators in Alaba International Market. We kidnapped the man in the evening after he finished drinking in a bar. We were five, who went for that operation and I didn’t know where the man was kept. Uche, who owns the house and the arms didn’t allow me to follow them to their den. The man paid around N30million as ransom before he was released and I got N3million as my share, that job was brought by one of Uche’s girlfriends.
Attempted kidnap of the owner Young Shall Grow Motors
“One of my informants known as Baba Eko also brought the job of another businessman known as Ucheson, a trader at Alaba market and we kidnapped the man on his way back from the market. We got a ransom of $1million from him before he was released. My share from that operation was N30million and I rented an apartment in Brooks area of Magodo Estate. We then kidnapped another victim known Okija victim and we collected a ransom of N60million naira from him. Our next operation after that was the kidnap of the owner Young Shall Grow Motors. One Uche brought the job to me and I called Uche, who had arms and the vehicles we were using at that time. Hunch-man had also joined me from Ghana and we were five that went for that job. At the end, Uche and Hunch-man were killed in that operation.
How I became the boss , my last exploits
“I inherited Uche’s guns and I became the boss. I got information about James Uduji, who resides on Seventh Avenue Festac Town and I kidnapped him and got $1million from him. We trailed him from his factory in Agbara on the day we kidnapped him and we caught him at his gate in Festac Town. I rented three houses in Ejigbo and two in Igando. When we kidnapped Uduji he got himself injured and almost died before we took him to our den. He lost so much blood and I searched Google where I found drugs that could heal his wounds very fast. I gave the drugs to him and some food supplements. Our next victim was Ojukwu Cosmos and Francis Umeh. We got $1million from each of them. I wasn’t the person who kidnapped Alias Unachukwu, it was Doctor and his boys that carried out the kidnapping and they got 30million from it. The man did not have money and I told the boys that kidnapped him to take what they could get from him and let him go. My last operation was the kidnap of a pharmacist, Donatus Dunu. Baba Eko also brought the job. We kidnapped the man and were expecting to get more money from him when he escaped. I felt angry about the development because my men compromised. Uche, who was the man I kept in charge of that den failed me. I threatened to kill members of his family but that was just a threat.”