When notorious kidnapper, Chukwudumeje Onwuamadike, aka Evans, kidnapped Donatus Dunu, CEO of Maydon Pharmaceutical Company on Valentines’ Day this year, little did the criminal realise the validity of the saying: “every day is for the thief but one is for the owner.”
Dunu, like Jesus Christ who was betrayed by his close ally Judas Iscariot, was given away to the kidnappers by one Emeka, an employee of his who has worked with him for five years.
According to NAN, he was subsequently housed at No 21, Prophet Asaye Close, New Igando, a Lagos suburb where he was kept for three months under very harsh conditions.
When money failed, God sets in
Back home, his captors had established contact with his family and had demanded for a 1 million Euro ransome. Not even an upfront deposit of N100 million could pacify them as they insisted on the exact sum.
Not knowing what else to do, his wife and managing director of the Pharmaceutical company, including, of course, Emeka, the wolf in sheep clothing, organised a fasting-and-prayer session for all the members of staff, .
“We did not only pray but engaged in fasting too. Who will not pray and fast if his or her boss was in such condition? It was really traumatic for us,” said one of the workers who pleaded anonymity as they were barred from discussing the incident.
And God did intervene in the early hours of Friday, May 12, 2017. While the criminals guarding him were deep asleep, Dunu managed to wriggle out of the leg manacles and took to his flight.
He was only wearing a pair of short and white singlet but he cared less. Another obstacle was a perimeter fence with broken bottles on top of it, but that too was not going to stand between the pharmacist and his freedom after three months in “the lion’s den”. He scaled the face and landed on the other side but things were beginning to take a different twist.
ANOTHER CLOSE SHAVE WITH DEATH
On landing into the adjoining building, Dunu was apprehended by local vigilante security men who thought he was a fleeing robber or cultist.
The security guards raised the alarm and many people were rushed to the scene ready to deliver the jungle justice as is the order of the day in many Nigerian communities. But providence saved the pharmacist a second time.
“I just came to my duty post that day when I started hearing the shout of ‘thief! thief!’” One of the security guards who asked not to be named said.
“I came out and saw this fair-complexioned man running towards me. I stopped him near that mini-tanker. He was wearing only his boxer with his white singlet placed on his shoulder.
“There was fear in his eyes and he looked sick and traumatised. His body was blood-stained and there were injuries on his legs probably because he had been cuffed on his legs for a long time.
“Some people were unwilling to listen to him and they wanted to take him away. I said no, they should leave him here and instead call the elders of the community.”
The poor security guard never knew he just saved a multi-millionaire from being killed by an angry mob.
He continued: “I then asked how much the kidnappers were demanding from him and how much he had paid and he said they were demanding N500m and he had paid about N100m. I was shocked.”
ENTER THE POLICE
Dunu was then taken to the Igando Divisional Police Station and later in the afternoon of that same day, he led operatives of Police’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the street.
But the poor man was so tired and sick he did not even come out of the vehicle.
The Police broke into the compound but the kidnappers of course the kidnappers had fled, but just for a while.
Many items were recovered from the compound, including guns, a white bus and a power bike. “I have never seen any power bike on this street before then,” the security man told journalists.
JESUS IS ALIVE
The bungalow where Dunu was kept sits at the end of the road. The floor of the compound is covered with interlocking stones, and carved on the gate is the inscription ‘Jesus is Alive’.
But how did the criminals manage to operate in the building for so long without any of the neighbours suspecting that something could be wrong.
“They (abductors) kept to themselves,” the source told journalists. “The guy there, whenever he was driving in from outside, the gate would have been opened before he got to the gate.
“In addition, loud music was always wafting from the bungalow. This always muffled every noise coming from there.
“This happened mostly in the day time. In the night, of course, the generating set would take over. So, we (neighbours) could never have known what went on there”.
EVERY DAY IS FOR THE THIEF BUT…
After he escaped, Dunu was able to make useful statements to the police about his kidnap and the next day, May 13, policemen in four patrol vans stormed Franzaki Street, Bucknor Estate, off Isheri Osun Road, Lagos. It was the rented home of Emeka, the man who betrayed his master.
Residents of the area said he hails from Oguta, an oil-rich community in Imo State, and is also married with a child. Emeka was arrested and neighbours say he is yet to return.
He apparently sang like a bird during interrogation at the police station and consequently, relying on information gathered from him, Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos Commissioner of Police, declared the kidnap kingpin, Evans, wanted on May 16.
“We are encouraging Nigerians to blow the whistle on this kidnapper. Whoever blows the whistle will get N30 million rewards as stated by the Inspector General of Police,” Owoseni said.
With that, operatives of the Inspector General of Police’s anti-kidnapping team went into action and with the aid of high tech equipment, they were able to track key members of the kidnap gang, and eventually Evans was picked up on Saturday June 10.
The police said he will soon be charged to court after investigations have been completed.
Watch the video of Evans’ mansion in Lagos: