…Narrates chilling story of crime life
…He must be well protected — FEMI FALANA
By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor, Wahab Abdulah & Ifeanyi Okolie
lagos—THE kidnap kingpin, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, a.k.a Evans, who was arrested last Saturday by operatives of Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, for coordinating several high-profile kidnappings, armed robbery and murder within Lagos, Edo, Abia, Enugu and Anambra States, yesterday, revealed that his father’s decision to disown him was the reason he took to crime.
Evans, who received millions of dollars as ransom from his victims, during his reign as an ingenious kidnapper in the country, told Vanguard exclusively that he was forced to drop out of school while in Junior Secondary School Class 2, when his father, Steven Onwuamadike, drove his mother, Chinwe, away and got married to another woman.
He must be well protected – Femi Falana
He spoke as human rights lawyer and critic, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday, called on the Inspector- General of police, Ibrahim Idris, to ensure that the notorious kidnap kingpin is well-protected in police custody for him and his accomplices to face justice squarely.
Commending the Police for a good job, towards ensuring that crime, especially kidnapping is eradicated in the country, Falana urged the Force to ensure the arrest of other accomplices, investigate them deeply and arraign them for prosecution.
In a statement, Falana said: “The Nigeria Police Force deserves commendation for the recent arrest of a notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onwuamadike, a.k.a ‘Evans.’ Since he is alleged to have named his accomplices, they should all be arrested by the Police without any delay.
”All the members of the criminal syndicate should be charged to court for trial. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, should ensure that the kingpin is adequately protected in custody.
“This is one suspect that should not be shot dead while trying to escape from custody. If Evans is killed in custody, his evidence will be destroyed to the detriment of the society as his accomplices will continue their nefarious business of kidnapping and killing innocent members of the public,” he stated.
Driven away from home
Evans in his disclosure, yesterday, explained that his father, who is a businessman asked him to join another business man, a spare parts dealer, also in Nnewi, who he served for five years without settlement because the man later accused him of stealing.
This development, according to him, embarrassed his father so much that he drove him out of his house. Evans who is a native of Akamili, Umudim Quarters, Nnewi, Anambra State, stated that his father’s action affected him deeply and he was forced to move into his mother’s house. He said his mother accepted him and she also raised money for him which he used in travelling to Lagos.
While in Lagos, Evans disclosed that he started selling diesel to luxury buses and truck drivers at Alafia Bus-stop along Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
He explained that, while he was selling diesel, he slept in a bus garage and that was where he joined a robbery gang.
First robbery gang
Vanguard gathered that Evans’ first robbery gang specialized in attacking luxury buses plying the East – West Road, at night. Police sources explained that Evans was involved in several highway robberies from which he raised enough money with which he travelled to South Africa.
A former anti-robbery police operative attached to Orile Police Station, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that Evans and his gang specialized in robbing traders in luxury buses travelling at night on the road.
The ex-policeman added that Evans who had several informants around motor parks in Alafia, Maza-Maza and Jibowu areas of Lagos State, used to obtain first hand information on the movements of traders coming to Lagos State with huge amounts of money from informants working at major luxury buses parks across the country.
The source disclosed that Evans and his gang would attack these buses on the highway and dispossess the passengers of their cash and other valuables, explaining that some of his gang members were arrested and when the police were closing in on him, he fled the country to return a few years later and relocated to the East.
Forming another gang
It was gathered that while in the East, he formed another dangerous gang that started robbing and kidnapping wealthy business men especially in the commercial city of Onitsha in Anambra State and Aba in Abia State.
When his notoriety soared in criminal circles, other robbery gangs started seeking him. That was how he became the financier of arms and armourer for the fearless and deadly armed robbery kingpin in the east from Nkanu in Enugu State, popularly called Ngwu Ekekere Omu, who robbed banks all over the country until he was killed in Anambra by a military patrol team that blocked a road on a tip-off from members of the Special anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in Awka.
Bloody robbery operation at Nsukka
Afterwards, he carried out a bloody robbery operation at the university town of Nsukka, Enugu State, where he killed among others, a Divisional Police Officer and later shot the SARS Commander in Enugu in the knee while they were pursuing him along Adani/Otuocha road.
During that operation, he also burnt down Nsukka Police Station after raiding one of the banks and as he was escaping from the scene with his gang, they threw bundles of crisp Naira notes in different denominations to the cheering crowd and commercial motorcyclists, including school children who were on their way home.
Ngwu Ekere Omu died in 2009 and most of his gang members were hunted down and eliminated by members of the Special anti-Robbery Squad in Enugu and Anambra states.
Police sources said Evans participated actively in that deadly operation and later, after some of their gang members including their leader were killed, he again escaped abroad.
Going into full-time kidnapping
On his return, according to sources, he veered into full time kidnapping with Lagos as his base. He used to pose as a spare parts dealer from South Africa with proceeds of his crime. Reports also alleged that he participated in some operations with another notorious killer, Vampire, who was later killed by the Police after plotting his escape from Owerri court in Imo State, while on trial.
Investigations revealed that Evans later linked up with another notorious kidnapper called Henry Hunchman in Anambra State and they coordinated several kidnappings.
They were later chased out of Anambra State and they fled to Edo State. Evans told Vanguard during a chat that he teamed up with one of his friends, Ehis, in Edo state and they started kidnapping.
He disclosed that Ehis introduced him to some of his friends known as Benin Papa, Odionose, Okey and Igbo Papa and they coordinated several kidnappings.
He further explained that he was forced to invite his friend, Hunchman, who he said had heavy arms and ammunition to join them in Edo State. According to him, ‘’When Hunchman came in, we carried out two big kidnappings that yielded N150 million, but Hunchman who owned the arms and ammunition, ran away with the money.’’
Escapades during MD Abubakar’s era as IGP
Vanguard investigation also revealed further that Evans’ activities became so troubling that the then Inspector -General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, deployed one of his key operatives, Patrick Ejedawe, who was the Commander of Mopol 2 Squadron Command, Lagos, to Edo State, to track him and his members down.
It was learned that Ejedawe, now an Assistant Commissioner of Police, mopped up all members of the gang except Evans, Hunch-man and Sudo, who fled to Ghana.
Sources disclosed that betrayals in the gang aided the police in mopping up the gang members, leading to the death of members like Benin Papa, Odionosa, Okey, Igbo Papa and many others who were killed by the Police in gun battles.
Our source further disclosed that Evans, Hunch-man and Sudo eventually came back to Nigeria and were based in Lagos, when Ejedawe was redeployed from Edo State by a new Inspector-General of Police.
At that point, Evans and his gang terrorised residents of Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin, Ojo and Ajao Estate areas of Lagos State before he was arrested.