Alleged notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onwuamadike (popularly known as Evans), collected an extra $200,000 from one of his victims after claiming part of the $1 million ransom was “old money,” PREMIUM TIMES can report.
The victim, who requested not to be named because he did not want publicity, said he paid a total of $1.2 million to Evans and not $1 million as being reported.
“He collected 1.2 (million dollars) from me, not 1 million he’s writing,” the victim, who was among the several people kidnapped by Evans in the FESTAC area, told PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive interview.
“Because when he released me, there was an agreement between me and him, the day he was releasing me, he said the money my wife gave him, that like 200,000 was old money, that they did not collect it from her, and that the money must be complete. I told him let him release me let me to go and look for the money,” he agreed.
“After one month, he started calling me, he now told me about my son and where my daughter is working and that if I don’t give him the money he’ll come after me. Rather than go through that trauma again, I sent that money to him at Queen’s Suite ( a hotel in Awka, Anambra State).”
Evans, 36, was arrested on June 10 at his posh Magodo home in Lagos, marking an end to a manhunt by law enforcement agencies that lasted about five years.
The police said the suspect, who hails from Nnewi in Anambra State, was the leader of a highly organised kidnap-for-ransom syndicate who terrorised Nigerians in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria.
He was first declared wanted in August 2013, after he allegedly masterminded the attempted kidnap of Vincent Obianodo, the owner of Young Shall Grow Motors, in Festac Town.
One police officer and three kidnappers died in the failed attempt.
The police linked Evans to the kidnap of at least 12 people in Lagos over the past four years, collecting ransoms running into billions of naira.
Last weekend, the suspect’s wife, Uchenna Onwuamadike, pleaded with Nigerian authorities to spare her husband’s life.
The victim who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, said he paid the extra $200,000 to Evans through his wife, who travelled to Anambra State to make the payment.
“He told my wife to lodge at Queen’s Suites, Awka. Even while going there people will tell you…. if you ask ‘Where is the road to Queen’s Suites?’ They will tell you ‘Ah! You’re going to kidnappers’ hotel.’ I wonder why Anambra State government has not brought that hotel down because almost all the people he kidnapped from Festac, one way or the other, he will tell him to go to Queen’s Suites. He doesn’t come to Queen Suite, they don’t pay the money in Queen Suite but he will make sure you sleep in Queen Suite as a must.
“In the night he will now call you inside the bush, within Ihembosi and Ozubulu, and collect the money. After collecting the money, he will tell you you must go back to Queen Suite, if you don’t go back there, he will shoot you.
“He forces people to go back there and sleep. What is his connection with Queen Suite? I also asked him that question yesterday because we met him, all the people he kidnapped. Abba Kyari arranged a meeting, brought him out and we asked him questions at State Command, GRA.
“I gave him 200,000 when I came out. Yesterday when I told him he could not deny it, because I told him how it happened, as I narrated to you.”
‘We are not aware’
When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, the management of Queen’s Suites, Awka, said they were not aware of Evans’ activities.
“Definitely, I never knew of Evans anyway,” said Emeka Nwachukwu, the hotel manager.
“Secondly, I never know if he has any ransom that they normally come to pay here. If there is anybody that is coming here to lodge, it’s just for the person’s safety, I am here for the safety of anybody.
“Whoever that came to my hotel to lodge only came for the safety, I never knew of Evans the kidnapper.”
On Sunday, Evans led the police to some of the houses where he kept his victims pending when he collects their ransom – at Jakande Estate, Ejigbo; and New Igando. The team were unable to visit the third location, reportedly at Gowon Estate, Egbeda.
“From what I saw (in the news) yesterday, of the detention camp, it does seem that it was Jakande Estate they kept me,” the kidnap victim told PREMIUM TIMES.