At the resumed trial of suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, better known as Evans at a Lagos state high court in Ikeja, one of his victims told the court how he paid €232,000 ransom.
Uchenna Okeagwu, Manager of Maydon Pharmaceutical Company while testifying on Friday said he paid the money as ransom for Donatus Duru, owner of the pharmaceutical company that was being held by Evans’ gang.
“I am a manager at Maydon pharmaceutical company and have been working with them for over seven years. After we heard of the kidnap of Duru, we waited to hear from the kidnappers so we will know what to do to rescue him,” he said.
“As the manager of the Idumota branch, we worked towards raising money for the kidnappers when they asked for ransom. After about two months, I was called by Anselm Duru, Donatus brother to come and deliver the money to the kidnappers that they have raised 223,000 Euros.
“After counting the money, we put it in a polythene bag and wrapped it very well with sellotape and I went with the money. Anselm gave me his telephone that they would use it to direct me to where I would take the ransom to.
Okagwu said he received further calls from the suspected kidnappers who described the routes they want him to follow.
“I received another call and I asked if I should follow Oshodi-Isale or Oshodi-Oke and they said I should follow Oshodi-Oke. I was driving slowly so I entered service lane so I won’t cause traffic. I left the house before 8pm. I was asked to enter the express when I got to Ijesha so they will not collect the money from me,” he said.
“I was directed towards Okota and was told to enter a street immediately after the canal where Okada men usually stay. I was asked to drive down the street and was asked to describe everything I see and should tell them when I see a blinking light on an electric pole.
“I was told to turn back at a point and left from where I entered. I was told to turn back again towards where I came from to the end of the street and told to turn back again. At a point, I was asked to park, get down from the vehicle with the ransom and walk back.
During cross-examination, defence counsel for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, Olukoya Ogungbeje, asked if he saw anybody when he dropped the ransom or gave it to anybody directly, the witness said he did not see anybody nor gave the ransom to anybody directly.