The leader of a notorious kidnapping gang arrested in Lagos last Saturday, Chukumdubem Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans, has opened up on the circumstances that warranted his transition from a harmless spare parts dealer to a deadly armed robber and kidnapper.
Evans, who narrated his involvement with the kidnapping gang that tormented the entire nation and left security agents sleepless for years in an interview with our correspondent, also revealed his exploits, his love life and exotic lifestyle, including furnishing a house he bought for N130 million with the sum of N100 million.
He also spoke about the kind of relationship he had with his father and mother as well as his siblings.
He said: “My name is Chukumdubem Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans. I was born in 1981 into the Onwuamadike family in Akamilli village, Umudim village, Anedo. I dropped out in JSS II because there was no money to go further.
“My father was born in 1960 and he had three wives. His name is Mr. Stephen Onwuamadike. My mother is the first wife with four boys and two girls. They are Somadina, Nnemeka, Chukwuemelie, and myself. My two sisters are Nzube and Chigozie.
“Later, I served one Jubako, a motor spare parts dealer in Nnewi, for five years and he never settled any of his boys.
“I left from East to Lagos and started selling black market phones at Alafia but resided in Surulere area.
“Somebody promised to send me to Holland but it did not work. I collected N200,000 from friends plus the N700,000 I saved and gave it to somebody to procure a visa and other things I needed to travel abroad, but the person disappeared with my hard earned money.
“I started selling fairly used motor parts in Ladipo Market. I met one Kingsley who was into armed robbery but I did not do robbery with him.
“I gathered some money and travelled to South Africa to sell drugs between 2006 and 2008. That was how I started drug business in South Africa.
“When I had a misunderstanding with my fellow drug pusher who planned to swindle me by selling drugs and telling me that the buyers had not made any payment, I confronted him and he brought out his pistol and shot me with the intention of collecting the entire drug money. I was taken to St. Clamout Hospital in Cape Town where I was operated upon.
“I later met Kingsley and Ehis in Nigeria when I went to treat my wound with native medicine in 2008. We promised to do something in Edo State. We started armed robbery. It was the Chief Superintendent of Police CSP Patrick that chased us out of Edo State and we relocated to Lagos. He was then the MOPOL 2 Commander.
“We carried out robbery operations on Port Harcourt Road, Aba where we used a truck to block a bullion van and collected N70 million. We used to be about 20 in the gang. Our members include Too Much Money and an Hausa boy, Nwangwa. There is a member called MD and one called Obele
“Obele led the operation in Old Umuahia. We stayed two weeks in a hotel while MD was planning the job. We collected N110 million from a bullion vehicle after we had jammed it with a tipper. There was another robbery operation we did and collected N7 million from another bullion vehicle.
“I met my wife, Precious, along the road in Uruagu village, Nnewi. We are 11 years in marriage. She was about 15 years old when I married her, because she was about to take her West African School Certificate Examination.
“I promised to pay her school fees, but when I impregnated her, she stopped school and stayed with my dad in the village till she gave birth.
“I rented a three-bedroom flat at Marwa Road in Satellite Town and shared it with a friend. We had three boys and two girls. I was trading in Ladipo when I married my wife, Precious. I adopted the name Evans when I was in JSS II.”
Asked why he went into armed robbery, he said: “It was because I lost my shop in Ladipo for travelling abroad. I decided to look for money to take care of my three children then. I was also looking for money to travel to Brazil.
“When I told Kingsley that I needed money, he said he would link me to somebody named Too-Much-Money. From him I got MD’s contact. I started going into armed robbery operations.
“I got money and bought a Honda ‘Baby Boy’ car for N1.8 million. I opened a shop at Aspanda in Trade Fair area where I was selling car fitters. I also spent N6.1 million on the goods I put in my shop.
“My gang members at Ladipo at that time were Ejima, Omo, Benin Papa, Sado, Papa Twins, Prince Joe, Alhaji Ibo and Papa Kekere. They were all traders in Ladipo.
“We also operated in Edo State. My gang members were Harison from Edo; Papa Ibo and Papa Benin, both late; Tony and Biggy from Imo State, both late; Ehis from Edo; Bekee from Imo, also late; Ahere from Edo; Kingsley from Delta, now late; Papa Twins from Edo; Prince Joe from Anambra, now late; Alhaji Ibo, now late; Baba Kekere and Henry a.k.a. Hunch Man.
“I later formed a three-man gang, namely myself, Eyis and Harrison. We kidnapped Kings Paints boss and got N7 million, Dan Odete N40 million, Randeki N11 million when I relocated to Lagos. We also kidnapped Iyi Technical and got N100 million, but Henry ran away with the money.
Asked about his relationship with women, he sad: “I am not a womanizer. My friend was missing and I took care of his wife and children with my money. I did not have sex with the woman. I did not touch any woman in Lagos except my wife. I moved my wife to Ghana when I was in Satellite Town.”
Evans said he relocated to Lagos when there was a problem in Benin and met one Aku Uche who taught him how to make money from kidnapping.
He said: “We picked a generator seller, Raymond Okoye, at Alaba. We picked him where he used to drink beer and we got N40 million from him. My share was N3.5 million. It was Uche who brought the three Ak47 rifles we used in the operation.
“We also kidnapped Ucheson when he was going home at Sixth Avenue, Festac Town. He was coming back from the market. He paid one million dollars.
“It is the person who brought material and the job we call the master. Uche brought the Sienna car we used in robbing the (boss of) Young Shall Grow motors. Baba Eko brought the job.
“We kidnapped Okija man in Ajao Estate and got N60 million. We did not succeed in kidnapping Young Shall Grow. Uche, Hunchman and Dr died in the operation when bullets hit them. I ran to Abuja to hide.
“After the Young Shall Grow operation, I became the boss. I secured Uche’s equipment and rented a house in Igando in 2014. I did two jobs at Amuwo Odofin and Festac. We kidnapped Chief Uduji in Alaba and he paid one million dollars.
“I treated Chief Uduji with rose fin injection when he became sick. I got how to treat him from the internet. I used to buy Roche drug N4,500 each. It was the pan of his car that wounded him. His wife in Canada phoned me and said he should not be allowed to die. Other members of my gang ran away thinking that the chief would die.
“We also picked Ojukwu Cosmos from his house at 21 Close, Festac. He paid 350,000 dollars. We picked Francis Umeh who paid 300,000 dollars. Unachukwu had no money and paid only N30 million.
“Donatus who is a pharmacist we picked at Ilupeju paid N223,000 Euros. I had three vehicles and later sold two to meet up with my financial challenges.
“I bought a Lexus Jeep (SUV) for N15 million, a Hilux Jeep for N11 million and Chiroke Jeep for N55 million. I also sold two of my vehicles for N23 million. I rented a flat in Magodo brooks and later bought a house for N130 million and furnished it with N100 million. I also bought another house in Magodo for N100 million.
“I did not befriend Okey’s wife, Amaka. She said her husband was missing and I was giving her money to sustain her family. I did not marry Iwuji’s wife. I did not know that she had a husband. She is my childhood friend. I thought that she had no husband.”
Asked why he would keep a victim for more than three weeks, he said he wanted him to pay enough money to meet up operation expenses because he pays those who play different roles good money.
He swore that he had not killed any of his victims both in armed robbery operations and kidnapping operations. He said it was the gang members that handles rifles and misbehaved in shooting victims or when they are exchanging fire with police.
When he was asked how he felt now that all the things he worked for would be taken over by the government, including his exotic cars and beautiful mansions, he wept profusely and said, “I feel bad. I feel for my children, wife, mother and friends. It has happened, it has happened. Even my mother is suffering partial stroke because of the kidnapping work I am doing. I was taking care of her till I was arrested.
“She is in the village in Nnewi. At times she refused to take the money I sent to her, telling me that I should stop kidnapping people; that it was making her sad.
“How can my mother prepare charms for me when she did not support my kidnapping job? I do not use charms; I used brain. The commander of Inspector General of Police Intelligence Team (IRT), an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Abba Kyari used brain to get me. If not for Kyari, I would not have been arrested.”
Reacting to the allegation that his gang tortured and killed many of their victims, Evans said it was not true.
Said he: “I do carry arms but I do not encourage abuse of firearms. I do not allow members who kill victims to participate in an operation I am interested in. I even treated one victim who became very sick. I cannot allow a victim to die if I can save him.
“What is true is that you can be kept hostage till you pay the last kobo. I used the money to pay those who play different roles in the kidnapping job. Anybody who says he is not well paid is a liar. Once we got a ransom, we came together to share it. Those who could not come to where we were sharing still got something reasonable. At least N2 million or N1.5 million for whatever role you played.
“I also do not encourage stealing victims’ property. I was not happy when Ikechukwu and Nwosu stole the golden ring of a victim. If not for our arrest, I would have made them to return the ring to the owner.
‘How we became members of Evans’ gang’
ONE of the principal suspects in the dreaded Evans’ high profile persons kidnapping gang, Chukwuemeka Ikenna Bosah (32), said he joined the gang of the notorious kidnapper to enable him foot the bill for a cesarean operation his wife underwent.
It was one of the revelations that emerged from different interviews our correspondent had with some members of the deadly gang, including Sola Paul (42), Uche Amadi (41) and Chukwumah Nwosu (42).
Explaining his involvement with the gang, Bosah said: “I used to manage a restaurant at No. 9, Yakoyo Road, Sabu, which is under Ogun State. I later travelled to Ghana to engage in 419 (obtaining by false pretence).
“Luck smiled on me one day and I hit $43,000. I rented a shop for my wife and also rented a house where I lived with my family, which included two sets of twins. I also opened a bigger restaurant than the one I ran in Nigeria.
“I was doing well until six months later when the owner of the building where I resided gave me a quit notice, claiming that I paid the rent to the wrong person. The matter affected my business so badly that I decided to relocate to Nigeria.
“When I returned to Nigeria, I started doing Internet fraud to survive. I told a white woman who was desperate to marry a black man that I would marry her, and she started taking care of me. She was sending me a lot of money until some enemies of progress called her and told her that I was married with a set of twins. She cut off the relationship.
“Unfortunately for me, I was penniless at the time she cut off the relationship. The worst happened when my pregnant wife went for antenatal care and the doctor told her that her that the only safe way she could be delivered of the baby was cesarean operation because the baby was inside the fallopian tube.
“When I narrated my plight to my friend, Nwosu, he told me that there was a friend of his who had just returned from abroad. He assured me that he would talk to the man to help me with money for the operation my wife intended to undergo. That was at Cele Bust Stop (Lagos).
“We entered keke (commercial tricycle) to Jakande Estate. There we met Evans who came in a Lexus SUV. This was around the year 2015.
“Evans told us to enter his car and I saw some men with fez caps. I also saw one of them in the back seat give a gun to another one in the front seat with Evans.
“Before I knew it, the driver used the Lexus SUV to block a car and they ordered the big man in the car to come down at gun point. When the man came out, he fainted. Evans then ordered Nwosu and I to carry the big man and put him inside his (Evans’) vehicle and they zoomed off.
“While we were putting the man inside Evans’ vehicle, Nwosu stole his gold ring. He later gave it to me to sell in order to solve my wife’s problem. I sold the ring for N60,000 and used the money to settle the bill for the cesearen operation.
When Evans discovered that we stole the victim’s ring, he became angry with me. He gave Nwosu the sum of N1.5 million to give to me as my share of the ransom, but Nwosu deducted N50,000 from it.”
Nwosu, however, denied deducting N50,000 from Bosah’s share, saying it was only N5,000 that he took from it.
He said: “I am am a native of Aba, Abia State. I trade in female wears and accessories like bags and shoes. I met Evans in 2014 at Domino’s Pizza, Apo Junction, Festac Town (Lagos) while selling fuel and engine oil in the black market at Alafia. I later went to Yaba to sell shoes.
“I travelled to Vietnam for two years. When I came back in January 2015, I met Evans again. We discussed drug trafficking business and I told him how I lost all my money to drug business. He then promised to sponsor me on drug trafficking trip, but he said I should give him some time.
“When we and the other people in the car had passed Second Rainbow junction, Evans told me to join another car that was following his SUV. We turned to Abulabu Junction and car, Ikenna, telling him to keep moving. “On getting to Villa Park area, they over crossed a vehicle and took a man from it and we left. On getting to Cele Bus Stop, he asked Ikenna, the driver of the other car, to drop me.
He gave each of us N1.5 million. “Unfortunately, the person I gave the money to help me procure a South Korea visa embezzled it. I later gave another money to one agent and he also bolted with it. I was later arrested. “I am married with three children. My problem now is that I gave my wife only N3,000 before I went to Abuja. I don’t know how they are managing to eat now. Tell the police that we have repented and should be given a second chance. The third suspect, Paul, said: “I am from Bayelsa State.
I was being paid N65,000 monthly for the amnesty they granted me, but my master used to deduct N10,000 from it every month. “I then went into sea diving job for which I was paid sums ranging from N50,000 to N500,000 for items recovered. But while working as divers all of us were still in the militant camp at Bayelsa, Calabar and Delta.
At times, we would break pipelines or kidnap oil workers, especially foreigners working with oil companies, and they used to pay ransom fast. “It was my master, Mr. George Suboma, who owned the camp and the guns we used for militancy. We got annoyed with the oil companies because they did not care to employ indigenes of the states or develop the areas. “The amnesty was granted us in 2009, during the late President Yaradua’s regime.
In 2010, I met Evans because he used to come to camp to collect guns from my master, George. He would come to militants’ camp with Barrister Yellow to meet George. I do not have Evans’ phone number and he does not have my number too. “When President Yaradua died, they started owing us amnesty allowance. I am not too educated. Evans later called me.
He asked me about my children. I told him that my master, Ugboma George, was deceased. “He asked me to text the number of the gang’s second in command identified as Peter. He said he would like to see us in Lagos. He sent N30,000 for our journey to Lagos. “When we alighted at Cele Bus Stop at Ijesha (Lagos), one elderly man came and took us to one hotel at Iyana Ojugbo area. We stayed there for two weeks without seeing Evans.”