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  • How Evans kidnapped, killed my 86-year-old father after collecting N15m – Ex-Super Eagles player
  • When news broke that suspected
    notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudubem
    Onwuamadike (AKA Evans) had been
    arrested in Lagos by the police on June
    10, many people celebrated the security
    agencies that made it happen.
    But far less known was the celebration it
    produced in the compound of the
    Iloenyosi family of Abagana, Anambra
    State.
    For this family, the news of Evans arrest
    was a personal victory.
    It all began one early morning on
    November 25, 2013 when the patriarch of
    the family, Chief James Iloenyosi, was
    kidnapped on his way back from mass.
    His son, Chikelue Iloenyosi, former Super
    Eagles player who played professional
    football in France and Turkey, has not
    been able to get over what happened to
    his father. He narrated the event that
    quickly became a game of hide and seek
    between criminals and the law
    enforcement agents.
    He told Saturday PUNCH in an emotion-
    laden tone that his father, who was 86 at
    the time, was on his way back from their
    local Catholic church when three SUVs
    double-crossed him and whisked him
    away.
    He would never see his father alive
    again.
    “When they took him away, they did not
    talk to us until after five days. They
    phoned my twin sister. She was sobbing
    when she called me that the kidnappers
    had made contact.
    “When we the children gathered, my
    sister called the kidnappers again and
    they simply told us that they would call
    back. They did not call back until after
    another five days just to build our
    anxiety.”
    The N50m ransom negotiation
    According to Chikelue, with no idea what
    could be going on with his father, the
    kidnappers on the morning of the fifth
    day called to demand a ransom of N50m.
    The routine of begging and pleading for
    the reduction of the ransom started at
    this point and after many days, they
    eventually reduced the ransom to N15m.
    Chikelue said, “When we paid the N15m,
    my father was already dead and we did
    not know.
    “What made me upset was that despite
    how seriously we worked to get him
    back, my father did not come out of it
    alive.”
    But upon payment of the ransom, the
    kidnappers said they were not releasing
    their victim until the family brought
    more money. But they never heard from
    the kidnappers again.
    Breakthrough arrests four months later
    However, after four months of
    investigation into the kidnap, said to
    have involved hundreds of policemen in
    Anambra State combing the forest at the
    time, security agencies got a break when
    a member of the gang that kidnapped
    Chikelue’s father, a suspect known as
    Nonso, was arrested along with three
    other members of his gang.
    Chikelue said at the time, Evans was
    already a popular criminal well known to
    the State Anti-Robbery Squad of the
    Anambra State Police Command.
    He was said to be a wanted robber
    known for hitting bullion vans.
    “The SARS boss in Anambra told me at
    the time that any suspect arrested for any
    major crime always mentioned the name
    of Evans,” he said.
    According to him, the family had to
    involve a private investigator in the case
    at a point when there was no longer
    news about their father’s whereabouts
    months after the family paid the ransom.
    In addition to this, he said a friend of his
    based in Israel helped to track his
    father’s line and traced it to a young
    lady, who said Nonso was his boyfriend.
    Chikelue told Saturday PUNCH, “When
    we arrested the girl, she said Nonso only
    gave her the phone for safe-keeping,
    instructing her not to put it on. We
    started tracking Nonso. At a point, the
    current leader of the IRT, Abba Kyari,
    gave us 18 of his men to follow us to
    Cotonou, Benin Republic because our
    trace on Nonso’s line showed he was
    there.
    “We got there and the police arrested a
    young man, who said he came to buy a
    car. He said the number was not his and
    that he only wanted to use it to call
    somebody in Nigeria. The police had to
    let him go when it was clear he knew
    nothing.
    “Later we left the Cotonou guy. Again,
    our private tracker traced him to Lokoja,
    Kogi State.”
    Evan’s gang member arrested in Lokoja
    However, intelligence later suggested that
    Nonso was in Lokoja.
    According to him, he and other members
    of the gang were said to have relocated
    there immediately they shared the
    ransom because many security agencies
    were after the gang.
    Chikelue said after identifying the hotel
    the suspect might be hiding in, some
    members of the SARS team in Kogi State
    moved in to make the arrest.
    He said, “I was in Lokoja for two months
    with a private tracker before we arrested
    Nonso.
    “When we got to the hotel with the
    police that day, we requested for the list
    of the people staying at the hotel. The
    hotel staff mentioned a “small boy” with
    his girlfriend in one of the rooms.
    “We knocked on the door and the
    girlfriend came out. He said her
    boyfriend was in the bathroom. But I was
    hearing a sound inside. He was trying to
    escape through the window but SARS
    operatives were already stationed
    around the hotel.
    “He eventually came out and said his
    name was Emmanuel. But I knew it was
    him right away because we had been
    able to obtain his photograph ahead.
    “But because I did not want him to
    panic, I pretended it was not him and
    told the SARS operatives in his presence
    that the person we were looking for was
    an older man.
    “He relaxed and was going inside when I
    called him and said I wanted to ask him
    something. I dialled his phone number
    there and then when it rang, we took it
    and it showed the name ‘Kidnapper
    football’. The SARS operatives
    immediately pounced on him and
    handcuffed him.
    “I asked Nonso if he knew me, he said he
    did not. I told him I was the footballer
    whose number he saved with that name.
    He then asked if I was ‘General’ – my
    alias – and I said yes.”
    Saturday PUNCH learnt that as soon as
    Nonso was arrested, he became
    submissive.
    He reportedly pleaded for his life, saying
    he would provide any information the
    police needed.
    “He immediately told us that his leader
    was Evans. But he said there was no way
    we could get Evans because he had fled
    to Lagos after the completion of the
    operation. At this point, Nonso kept our
    hope alive. He said my father was still
    alive. He refused to give precise
    information,” Chikelue told our
    correspondent.
    The ex-footballer said he was very
    hopeful at that point and believed he was
    indeed going to get his father back alive.
    Nonso, who was transported back to
    Anambra in the company of SARS
    operatives later provided the police with
    Evans’ phone line, with which they
    started tracking him.
    When the police team got to Anambra
    with the suspect, he reportedly began to
    plead not to be taken to SARS
    headquarters in the state for fear of
    being tortured and killed. He said he was
    willing to give up all the necessary
    information.
    Nonso told the police that Evans was
    always on the move after each operation.
    Chikelue said, “We were calling Evans to
    pinpoint his location but it was all
    abortive. Nonso was later made to call
    another member of the gang called
    Awolowo to inform him that there was
    an operation.
    “But Awolowo said he did not want to do
    any operation at the time because his
    wife had just put to bed. Nonso said
    Awolowo was part of Evans’ Asaba, Delta
    State group.”
    Suspects refused to confess
    The police later arrested Awolowo and
    two others.
    For many days, these suspects were said
    to have kept mum.
    It was learnt that they refused to divulge
    any information about Evans, which the
    police suspected was owing to the fact
    that they had taken an oath.
    In fact, one of the suspects, who was on
    the verge of confessing was said to have
    suddenly started acting like someone
    with a mental illness.
    Even Nonso’s girlfriend who was also
    arrested was said to have refused to give
    any information that could implicate her
    boyfriend.
    “The most shocking thing was that when
    the police interrogated Nonso, he said
    that if the SARS ever wanted peace in
    Anambra, they should kill the lady. He
    said she was the one responsible for
    taking care of the gang and that she
    helped them buy drugs and collected
    ransom on their behalf,” Chikelue said.
    But he said while all these were going on,
    his only concern was knowing his
    father’s whereabouts.
    One day, while Chikelue was at the SARS
    office, he found a sudden ally in an
    armed robbery suspect called Onyeso,
    who was detained there.
    Chikelue said, “He pulled me aside and
    said, ‘My brother, you are a good man
    because you always give money so that
    the police could buy us food when you
    come here’. He said he wanted to give
    me a privileged information.
    “He said if we wanted any result, we
    should take Awolowo to the backyard
    and tell the police to shoot their gun in
    the air as if they had killed him. He said
    the other one would start confessing
    because they had indeed taken an oath.
    “When the police did this, Nonso started
    confessing when he was told Awolowo
    had been killed. He said he would take
    us to where my father was buried.
    “We journeyed into the forest for three
    and half hours before we got to where
    they buried him. I broke down and my
    sister who was there at the time fainted.”
    Saturday PUNCH learnt that the late Pa
    Iloenyosi was buried around Nneyi
    village in Umueri community.
    But most heartbreaking was the
    information that the old man might have
    been starved or beaten to death.
    When Nonso was asked how the old man
    died, he explained that it was the fault of
    those manning the hideout where Evans
    kept the man.
    Pa Iloenyosi was said to have been
    stripped to his underwear, kept in a cold
    room and beaten regularly in order to
    put more pressure on his children.
    Chikelue said, “While we were
    negotiating for ransom, they would call
    and put the phone on speaker so I could
    hear how they beat him. My father would
    cry and beg me to find a way to ensure
    his freedom.
    “We buried him few days after we found
    his body and started the search for
    Evans. One of the vital information
    Nonso gave us was that they were on
    their way to a robbery when they got
    information about my father and they
    diverted to Abagana to kidnap him. So, I
    was really particular about the arrest of
    Evans so that he could tell us who in our
    community gave them the information.”

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