The recently nabbed notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans, is threatening hail and brimstone on those he alleged to be his backers in the deadly business he lived on for years. As the Police intensify their investigation on how he carried out his dare-devil operations that held cities and families hostage and struck the fear of God into the hearts of many a public figure, Evans has vowed not to go down alone. He is telling the police that he did not act independently in the business as he knew those he described as South East businessmen, specifically from Anambra State, who gave him names of those he kidnapped for ransom.
To demonstrate his determination to bring down the roof on his collaborators, he claimed that he had given the Police the identities of those who fed him with information on his victims specially their names, residential addresses, and movements. We hope he is not bluffing when he said that he was keeping the personalities’ identities secret for now as a way of assisting the Police in their work of putting measures in place to make it certain that their arrest was not bungled as one mistake could spell doom for the whole investigation and prosecution. That must not be allowed to happen otherwise the society will be the worse for it.
The kidnap czar boasted that if the Police did not arrest them or make their names public, he would tell the world before he pays the capital price for his sins. For effect, he added that some of them are living in Italy and France and are into drug business. Nigerians are waiting eagerly for this World Exclusive.
Without Evans saying this, most Nigerians are aware that crime of the kind Evans was involved in that mints money, literally, operates like mafia syndicates with supposed high net worth individuals in the thick of it. It has happened before – the Anini saga in Benin and the Otokoto debacle in Owerri in which some officers of the Police Force itself were implicated are precedencies the security agencies can rely on to make the desired headway. Already, a soldier alleged to be connected with the operations of the gang has been arrested.
Kidnapping is known worldwide not just in Nigeria to be one way erstwhile business associates and friends resolved issues to prove how powerful they are and how far they can go to deal with a considered minnow toying with them. It may well turn out that Evans’ so called invincibility was just a rouse to cover up the real big bosses running the kidnapping ring.
There is also the possibility that he may want to use his travails to settle scores with those he has an axe to grind. The only way to find out is for the Police to move faster to avert a repeat of the Osisi Ka Nkwu episode in Abia State where the criminal was allegedly killed by his backers to shut him up. If it is true that he has identified some individuals who oiled the wheel of his crime machine, the Police owe it a duty to Nigerians to move swiftly and decisively to expose another ugly chapter in the nation’s record of anti-social inclinations of a segment of the society.
Reports indicate that even with his arrest, Lagos still holds Evans in dread either because of the deadly network and ruthlessness of the gang he led or out of a genuine belief that though the snake’s head may have been severed, it certainly is not dead yet not with the gang’s powerful backers still looming large. With the hurt the activities of the gang inflicted on the psyche of the citizens of Nigeria, it is imperative, in our view, for the security agencies, not just the police, to team up and ensure that this matter is expeditiously disposed of.
This is important because of the alleged involvement of drug barons who are known to have the resources to silence a fallen associate and bribe their way through the labyrinth of the security network just to make sure that the secret remained ‘in-house’.
We suggest that the security agencies must not allow this case to end up as mere statistic in the Police archives. Many Nigerians lost their lives and wealth to kidnappers. The trauma the families of the victims went through is enough to ginger the Police into action. Furthermore, Evans must be kept alive at all cost. It is not impossible that he may be holding the key that will unlock the mysteries behind the kidnapping operations that has not only embarrassed the nation and held the people mentally hostage but also dehumanised those they kidnapped.