The Nigerian Police Force has paraded one Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, a.k.a Evans, who it says is the leader of a notorious kidnap gang behind many abductions that have instilled fear in Nigerians.
Onuamadike was paraded on Sunday along with six suspected top members of his gang at the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood.
The police said the suspected kidnap kingpin and his gang members were arrested on Saturday at Magodo Estate in Lagos after “an intense gun battle” with the Joint Special Forces led by the Intelligence Response Team, the Lagos State Police Command’s Anti-Kidnapping Unit and Technical and Intelligent Unit of the Force under the supervision of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.
Suspected members of his gang arrested with him include Suoyo Paul, a.k.a Nwana, 42; and Nwosu Chikodi Chukwu, 42, a.k.a Sudo, who is believed to be the third in command.
Others are Felix Chinemerem, 36; Ikenna Emeka, 28; Uchechukwu Amadi; and Ogechi Amadi.
According to the police, Onuamadike, a native of Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State is the vicious leader of the highly organised kidnap syndicate and criminal gang responsible for the kidnap of prominent Nigerians in Lagos and many states across the country.
He was declared wanted in August 2013 for allegedly masterminding the attempted kidnap of the owner of Young Shall Grow Motors, Vincent Obianudo, in FESTAC, Lagos.
During the incident, a policeman who foiled the attempt to kidnap Obianudo by killing three of the gang members was killed.
After the FESTAC incident, the police said Onuamadike and surviving members of his syndicate regrouped with several gangs and became more vicious in unleashing terror.
The police listed the names of some of their victims to include Mbarikatta William Uboma; Paul Cole, a director with Ocean Glory Commodities, Apapa; Mohammed Jamal, a Lebanese; Kingsley Nwokenta and Anthony Ozoanidobi.
Others are Leo Abraham, Ojukwu Cosmas, James Uduji, Chief Raymond Okoye, Uche Okoroafor, Elias Ukachukwu, Francis Umeh, and Donatus Dunu.
According to the police, Evans and his gangs keep their victim kidnapped in the Lagos area at a house in New Igando Lagos until they pay the ransom.
“Ransom money is paid to him in millions of dollars, some victims are kept for upward of six to seven months until the last penny is paid. He never reduces his tagged ransom money. None of his gang members knows his house,” the police said.
Police sources said the 36-year-old suspect, who had been on their watchlist for about seven years, is reputed to be the most notorious and richest kidnapper in Nigeria.
The Force Public Relations Officer said the police would build on his capture and check kidnapping in the country.
“This is a huge success for the Nigeria Police Force. The Force will build on this success and continue to prevent kidnap cases and criminality generally in the country, and ensure prompt detection of those crimes that cannot be prevented, and also ensure that perpetrators are arrested, investigated and prosecuted,” he said.