'How Evans Collected N100m for my Kidnapped Brother'

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By Akinwale   Akintunde 

The first prosecution witness in the trial of suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike better known as Evans and his accomplices has narrated how the sum of N100 million was paid as ransom to Evans and his accomplices to secure the release of his kidnapped brother.

 The witness, Mr. Anselem Dunu, is the elder brother of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Donatus Dunu, who was kidnapped on February 14, 2017. 

Lagos State Government had last month, arraigned Evans alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court. 

According to the prosecution, Evans and his accomplices committed the offence of conspiracy at 7.45pm on February 14 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos. 

The prosecution said the defendants between February 14 and April 12 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, while armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, captured and detained Mr. Duru Donatus.

 The defendants were also accused of collecting a ransom of 223,000 Euros before Donatus could be released.

 Testifying before the court yesterday, the witness narrated to the court how his younger brother was kidnapped and was not released until the family had parted with N100m.

 According to Dunu, his brother was in the kidnapper’s den for four months, adding that during this period, the kidnappers through phone calls threatened him and demanded for N100 million, which was changed to 223,000 euros, which was the currency demanded by the kidnappers. 

“On the 14th of February I received a phone call from my younger brother Innocent Dunu informing me about my brother’s kidnap. 

“We rushed to the Ilupeju Police Station where we reported the case. We were referred to SCID, Panti, where the CSP in charge told me that the pattern of kidnapping was similar to that of the notorious kidnapper, Evans.

“The CSP further told me to be strong adding that Evans would contact me in two weeks as it was his pattern, and that I should be strong because the kind of money they would ask us to bring can make me faint.

“After two weeks, a private number called me and I heard my brother’s voice at the other end begging me to close all his bank accounts and give the kidnappers all the money. My brother’s voice was anxious and filled with pain. I told him that there was no way I could access his accounts since I was not a signatory. The call ended abruptly.

 

“I was contacted again after four days and my brother sounded more desperate, begging me not to allow him die in captivity. 

 

“The kidnappers grabbed the phone from my brother and demanded for 1 million Euros, to which I replied that we were only able to raise N20m. The voice on the other end started saying, ‘thunder fire you. Go and get us our money,’ and the call ended.

 

“I rallied round and managed to raise N60m which I informed the kidnappers when they called after three days. The kidnapper demanded for 1m Euros if I wanted to see my brother alive.

 

“The kidnapper threatened to kill me whenever I bring the money. He also insisted that I must be the one to bring the money. I could hear my brother’s voice in the background pleading for mercy and shouting, ‘please stop beating me.’

 

“We were finally able to raise N100m which we changed into 223,000 Euros. They contacted me and I told them what we were able to raise. They thereafter told me they would contact me.

 

“They contacted me and I arranged with my Cousin, Uche Okeagbu to take the money to them. They demanded I give my phone to Uche, and instructed him to bring the money to Oshodi.

 

“We packaged the money in cellophane bags and Uche took it to them in Oshodi. After they collected the 223,000 Euros, they stopped calling.

 

“Sometimes in May, I got a call from my younger brother who told me that my brother Donatus had escaped from the kidnappers den.

 

“When we were finally reunited, he was in a very critical condition. He was emaciated. His beard was so bushy and white. In short, he looked like an early man.

 

“At the Bourdillon Police Headquarters the 4th defendant, Okuchukwu Nwachukwu was paraded as the one that tipped off Evans about my brother.

 

“I know Nwachukwu very well. He is my very good friend and I fondly call him Congo. He apologised profusely when he saw me and told me that it was the devil that pushed him into kidnapping.

 

“Evans was also paraded as the mastermind behind the kidnap. When Evans was asked why he chose my brother, he said it was a random act, adding that one of his boys was not feeling fine and had bought a drug manufactured by Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited.    He also said when he checked the manufacturer’s address, he contacted Nwachukwu who gave him details of my brother’s movements,” Anselem Dunu told the court.

 

Meanwhile, the court entertained an application, seeking the release of the third defendant on bail on health grounds and adjourned till November 17 for ruling.

 

Evans’ lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, told the court that he had also filed an application for Evans to be released on bail, but the judge did not hear it.

 

The prosecution led by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) described Evans’s application for bail an accelerated hearing, filed along with an application to quash the charges as “conflicting, confusing and an abuse of court processes.”‎

 

Justice Oshodi dismissed an application filed by Evans lawyer seeking to quash the kidnapping and conspiracy charges against him.

 

The judge however adjourned the matter till November 17 for Anselem’s cross-examination by the defence.