By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor, Evelyn Usman and Ifeanyi Okolie
There was tumultuous ovation and excitement, yesterday, at the Force Headquarters, Kam Salem House, Abuja, and the Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos, after news filtered that the notorious and most dreaded kidnap kingpin in the country, Evans, has been arrested by the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, inside his bedroom, in the Magodo area of Lagos.
Evans, described as the most notorious, high profile kidnapper – and the richest in Nigeria – was, at last, unmasked.
Before yesterday’s arrest, the Police had placed a N30million bounty on his head.
When Policemen broke into his room to arrest him, he was said to have sheepishly said, “I know this is the end,m I am finished”.
His real name is Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike, aged 36, and hails from Umudim Village, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Sunday Vanguard has been made to understand that during preliminary questioning, Evans confessed to having been behind virtually all the high profile kidnap incidents in places including but not limited to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Aba.
His exploits also included the 2013 attempted kidnapping of the owner of The Young Shall Grow Motors. He was said to have confessed that the kidnap job was brought to him by one Emeka.
He also confessed that he has two properties in Ghana, one of which is where his wife and five children have reportedly moved into.
Among many items recovered from him yesterday during his arrest were expensive phones, one of which is put at a cost of $6,000.
His arrest yesterday, came just few weeks after many members of his gang, including his second and third in command, were rounded up at different locations in the country.
Their arrest came few days after one of their victims, Donatus Dunu, a wealthy owner of a pharmaceutical company at Ilupeju, Lagos, escaped miraculously from the hideout where they kept him for months.
He was abducted in front of his office in Ilupeju, on February 14, 2017, after he closed for the day, by gun-totting young men who blocked his car with their SUV and threw him into the booth of the car.
Members of his family later paid about N150m to effect his release.
But the kidnappers insisted on getting N500m. They threatened to kill their victim if the full ransom was not paid.
Luckily, few weeks after the payment of the ransom and their consistent threat to kill their victim, Dunu miraculously escaped from their hideout at Igando, a suburb of Lagos.
He, thereafter, alerted security agents who swung into action and started rounding up members of the gang.
information made available to Sunday Vanguard by very dependable sources suggested that efforts of the police paid off on Friday night, after they were able to locate Evans’ where about, using sophisticated communication gadgets provided by the Inspector-General of Police.
Police sources hinted that while almost all police formations in the country were on red alert trying to locate the notorious kidnap kingpin, the Inspector-General of Police, who was visibly angry with the delay, sent three special teams attached to his office down to Lagos to complement the efforts of those on ground.
It was further gathered that the teams came with new sophisticated communication gadgets for the operation.
Intelligence reports had indicated that failure to arrest the Evans was not unconnected with his possession of some state of the art jamming device, which made it easy for him to serially knock off signals that would have enabled men of the force pin him down.
The change in equipment, according to sources, paid off at last, after detectives were able to locate his where about late Friday night – even though his telephone sets were already switched off to avoid detection.
He was reportedly traced to his palatial home in Magodo, Lagos, while he had already packed his bags and baggages, ready to fly to South Africa, the next day.
It was gathered that after his arrest, the elated members of the IGP’s team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Philip, immediately alerted their leader, ACP Aba Kyari, who gave the Inspector-General the cheering news.
In Lagos, officers and men of other formations, including civilians, rushed to catch a glimpse of the dare-devil kidnapper that gave them sleepless nights. It was learned that people even came from far-away Festac and Amuwo-Odofin/Ojo axis where he held sway during his inglorious reign by abducting wealthy men and forcing them to pay not less than N500m before they were set free. As at the time of going to press, detectives were yet to give access to the suspect but a police source said he may be paraded by the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, today.
- 1 Mbarikatta William Uboma, 35, kidnapped June 16th, 2012, at about 11am, on his arrival from Hungary, while he was close to his house.
He was in the company of his brother, on their way from the airport, when another car emerged and blocked theirs. They grabbed Uboma, blindfolded him and forcefully abducted him – he was taken to an unknown destination. They later demanded a ransom of N10M. However, N2M was later paid while they collected other personal accessories. He was finally dropped at Okota on the third day.
- 2. Paul Cole, 34, from Ohafia in Abia State. A Director with Ocean Glory Commodities, Apapa, he was kidnapped on August 3rd, 2012, at Festac Town, together with his General Manager, Jude Ugoje, and another staff, Piriye Gogo, and taken to an unknown destination. They demanded for N10M. On August 6th, 2012, they collected N5M ransom at Maza-maza, before letting their victim off the hook.
- 3. Mohammed Jamal, 22, a Lebanese, was kidnapped on August 19, 2012, at Ajah by three armed men, taken away and blindfolded. N7M ransom was later paid at Ojo Barracks.
- 4. Kingsley Nwokenta, 34, was kidnapped on September 19, 2012, at Mile two under bridge, after he left Lebanana Bar, in Festac. Later, he paid N1.5M ransom while they made away with his black Toyota Venza and other accessories.
- 5. Anthony Ozoanidobi, 41, was kidnapped on October 10th, 2012, along Marwa Road Satellite town. Ransom of N1.5M was paid after which he was released at Apple junction, Amuwo-Odofin
- 6. Leo Abraham 58, was Kidnapped on August 20, 2012. He paid ransom of N5M and was later released along Badagry road, Lagos.
- 7. Ojukwu Cosmas, 45, sells Toyota parts at Aspanda Trade fair. He was kidnapped on January 21, 2016, at Festac town. It was not clear when and how he was released.
- 8. James Uduji was kidnapped close to his house at 7th Avenue, Festac Town, late last year. Held for 6 six weeks. He paid a ransom of $1M.
- 9. Chief Raymond Okoye – Odu-Na-Ichida. He was kidnapped in 2015. He also paid $1M as ransom, after being held captive for 2months
- 10. Uche Okoroafor, a trader at Alaba, was kidnapped in 2015, and held captive for three months. He also parted with $1M.
- 11. Elias Ukachukwu was kidnapped in November 2015. He, too, paid $1M. The date of his release could not be ascertained but it was gathered that his abductors were insisting on another $1M ransom, claiming family members were rude to them during negotiation.
- 12 Francis Umeh, also a spare parts dealer at Aspanda, was kidnapped in July 2016, at Raji Rasaki Estate. Released after two months in captivity.