Tuesday, July 4, 2017 8:54 am
The notorious kidnapper, Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike, aka Evans, was recently arrested by the Inspector- General Of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari. Here is what you do not know about the super cop
Magodo Estate, Ketu area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has always been a quiet ambience. The estate plays host to the rich in the society; the poor and the downtrodden have no abode in it. But in the still-quietness of this estate dwells Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike, aka Evans, a notorious kidnapper, swimming in opulence from the sweats of others. He reaps where he never sowed. For years, he had successfully evaded the long arms of the law as he runs an organized network of kidnapping across the country.
But on Saturday, June 10, 2017, the serene ambience of Magodo was shattered as the Special Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari invaded the estate. The seeming invincibility of the dreaded kidnapper was broken, he was arrested. His arrest has been one of the biggest achievements of the police in recent times. This is simply the story of dreaded criminal, abductor, school drop-out.
Several of the high profile kidnappings in Lagos and in some parts of the country were carried out by Evans and his gang. He is dubbed the most notorious high profile kidnapper in the history of Nigeria. He has collected billions of naira as ransom over the last seven years as the kingpin of kidnappers. A native of Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Evans, 36, is known to keep his victims for six to seven months in captivity until when the families paid about N400m ransoms in installments before the victims were released. The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, recently said apart from the two states, Evans was also wanted in Edo, Delta and Anambra.
That is why his arrest by the special squad of the IGP was commended by all for bursting an inglorious kidnapping network. The man at the centre of this breakthrough is Abba Kyari. Kyari has been known in the past to always deliver when it matters most. He burst several kidnapping gangs in the past, he has always been drafted to areas where the police seem to be encountering challenges.
He led the team that rescued the mother of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,the former finance minister, who was abducted in Ogwuashi-Uku in Delta State.Those arrested include Jide Ojo popularly known as marvellous, Hassan Oseni, Micheal Ojeabulu,Endurance Eke, Ibrahim Abubakar and Hamadola.
He also led his men to arrest armed bandits, Okunola Saheed.,Saheed Adekunle,Olarenwaju John also called Pastor after they attacked a bureau de change in the Muritala Muhammed Airport,Ikeja,Lagos. He helped to rescue school chidren in Ikorodu,Lagos from kidnappers.
As a result of his superlative performances and strategies he adopted in combating crime, he won the Inspector- General of Police commendation award for courage in 2012,2013 and 2014. The governor’s award for gallantry,leadership and service excellence went to him in 2011,2012 and 2013. Thus, it was no surprise when he was drafted by the IGP to head the special squad to hunt for Evans and his gang. The arrest was made possible through dependable sources in Magodo and intelligence report and documents recovered from his hideout in Igando that identified three of his girlfriends namely Amaka, Ngozi and Ijeoma
A brief profile of Kyari reveals that he was born on 17 March, 1975 at Gombe town in Gombe Local Government Area of Gombe State to Alhaji Baba Kyari and Hajiya Yachilla Kyari. He hails from Gujba Village in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. He had his early education at the University of Maiduguri Primary School from 1981-1987. He later attended Government Secondary School, Maiduguri, Borno State from 1987-1993. After his secondary school education, he proceeded to University Of Maiduguri from1993 to 1997 where he bagged a bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Geography.
Kyari, thereafter, went for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Akwa Ibom State from 1998-1999. On completion of his national service, he enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as Cadet ASP on 1 May, 2000. He had his basic police training at the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano from 1 May, 2000 to 27 November, 2001. On conclusion of his basic training, he was posted to Adamawa State Police Command where he served for three years before he was mobilized into 14PMF Yola in 2005. He was demobilized to Lagos State Police Command in 2010. On arrival at the Lagos State Police Command, he was posted to the Special Anti -Robbery Squad, Ikeja, Lagos until 2016 when he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and heads the IGP Special Intelligence Response Team (SIRT).
The arrest of Evans was received with eclat by all because several wealthy Nigerians living in FESTAC and Amuwo Odofin areas of Lagos had been kidnapped. Many of them had relocated to Ikoyi and Lekki and left their mansions vacant because of Evans. He also has kidnap gangs that operate in Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Bayelsa and Delta states.
The Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Mashood Jimoh, said six members of Evans’ gang were also apprehended, adding that his arrest was a joint operation led by IRT under the supervision of the Lagos Commissioner of Police. “He was the brains behind kidnappings in the South-West and other regions. Six of his gang members were also arrested after an intense gun battle,” Jimoh stated.
Evans’ sins are many. He kidnapped one Mr. Mbarikatta William Uboma in FESTAC Town on 16 June, 2012 for which his gang received N20 million as ransom before he was released. He kidnapped Mr. Paul Cole from Ohafia in Abia State on 23 August, 2012, in FESTAC and got a ransom of N20m. Mr. Mohammed Jamal, a Lebanese, who was kidnapped on August 19, 2012, at Ajah, paid N17 million at Ojo area of Lagos to regain his freedom.
Evans’ gang also kidnapped Mr. Kingsley Nwokenta on 19 September , 2012 in FESTAC and got a ransom of N15 million and a black Toyota Venza car. Evans’ gang was behind the kidnap of Mr. Anthony Ozoanidobi on 10 October, 2012, along Marwa Road in Satellite Town, Lagos and got paid a ransom of N15m. One Mr. Leo Abraham was also kidnapped in Lagos on 20 August, 2012, by the gang and dumped at Badagry Road in Lagos after he paid N15m.
More so, the gang got a ransom of $1 million from Ojukwu Cosmas, a Toyota parts seller at Aspanda Trade Fair, who was kidnapped on 21 January, 2016 in FESTAC Town. James Uduji who was kidnapped by the gang at Seventh Avenue, FESTAC Town late 2016 paid $1.2m before he was set free after spending six weeks in the custody of Evans’ gang. In the same vein, Chief Raymond Okoye Odu-Na–Ichida who was kidnapped in 2015 also paid $1m to regain his freedom after two months in captivity.
Likewise, Uche Okoroafor, a trader at Alaba International Market, Lagos, was kidnapped by the gang in 2015 and held captive for three months before he was released after paying $1m, just as Elias Ukachukwu, who was abducted by the gang in November, 2015 also paid $1m for his release. Another Lagos based spare parts dealer, Francis Umeh was kidnapped in July 2016, at Raji Rasaki Estate and was released after paying a ransom of $1m.
In Edo State, Evans’ gang abducted one Mr. Ohunyon Ernest in November 2011 and got a ransom of N85 million. In the same state, the gang also abducted one Mr. Dan Odiete in Benin City in 2013 with N100m collected. The proprietor of Uyi Technical who was kidnapped by Evan’s gang in Benin City in 2013 paid N100m before he was released.
Another victim of the Evans’ gang identified simply as Tom kidnapped in Benin in 2012, paid N100m to be set free. A paint manufacturer who was also kidnapped in Benin City in 2010 Evans and his gang coughed out N40m to regain his freedom.
Evans met his nemesis when his gang abducted Mr. Donatus Dunu, a pharmacist and importer of drugs, on 14 February, 2017, at Ilupeju area of Lagos. Though his family paid the sum of N150m to secure his release, Evans collected the money and refused to release the victim, insisting that an additional N300m must be paid. Dunu later escaped from Evans’ detention camp in Igando on 12 May, 2017, without paying the additional ransom. His escape became Evans’ nemesis as he was hunted down by the police.
How did Evans get into the kidnapping business? He said his friend, known as ‘Hunch Man,’ introduced him into it and that after a few operations during Peter Obi’s administration, he was forced to leave the state. He moved to Edo State where he got some boys from Warri, Delta State, working with him.
Because of the exploit of Kyari and his men in bursting the kidnapping kingpin, the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, has approved the special promotion of policemen who participated in the hunt and arrest of Lagos Evans. At least, 35 operatives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT), 11 from the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) and one person from the IGP monitoring section were involved in the operation. At least, 29 sergeants were promoted to the rank of inspector, while three corporals were promoted to the rank of sergeant with effect from June 16, 2017.
— Additional report by Oluwole Adeboye