Evans’ kidnap victim narrates ordeal in Lagos court
A kidnap, Donatus Duru has told a Lagos High Court that his ordeal in the hands of Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (popularly known as Evans) and his gang was gruesome.Duru told Justice Hakeem Oshodi in the ongoing trial of Evans and other suspected kidnappers that he spent 88 days in the den and they were planning to kill him because his brothers were not acting fast in paying up 1 million Euro ransom.
His words: “I overheard one of the kidnappers telling others that the best option was kill me since my brothers were not acting fast in paying their 1 million Euro ransom.”
Evans alongside five other suspected members of his gang namely: Ogechi Uchechukwu, Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Chukwunonso Aduba were charged for alleged conspiracy and kidnapping of one Duru Donatus.
The defendants, who had pleaded guilty to the charges, had changed their plea after the amended charge was read to them.They have been in Police custody since June 10, 2017. Their offence contravened Sections 411 and 271(3) Criminal Law Cap C17 Laws of Lagos State 2015.
The second prosecution witness, led- in-evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said Duru spent 88 days in the kidnappers’ den in Igando, Lagos.
Duru said: Evans kept making his demands in Dollars, Euro and Naira based on market value. He insisted on receiving the ransom in euros. So, that made it difficult for my family to raise the money early.
“They called my brother almost every day and were beating me so that my brother will hear my crying. So, at a time, I asked my brother to start looking for where to borrow money.
“They said, they have been able to raise up to ₦60 million, which I asked Evans to take and that when I come out I will make the remaining money available but he refused and told me that my brother and I am saying rubbish.“As at that time, they tried to change the money to euro since Evans had refused the naira appreciated around March. Later he told them not to change it anymore that he was no longer collecting euro but naira and when naira started depreciating again he asked them to change it back to euro.
“So, I pleaded that Euro was too hard to get and his boys advised me to ask him to give me discount and he came down from 1 million Euro 500,000 Euro, which was about 50 per cent discount.”
The witness went emotional, as he described his escape when they planed to kill him, saying: “I prayed a day before the Friday they scheduled to kill me. So, I wrapped the bedspread in the room where they kept me round the shackles on my legs, like the one used to chain mad people and the padlocks opened up. I found the kidnapper guarding me deeply asleep in the sitting room.
“I jumped into the next compound, which was also a bungalow like the one I was kept. The couple I jumped into their compound were scared and threatened to call security or the police.
However, during cross examination, the counsel to the first, second and fourth defendants, Olukoya Ogungbeje reminded the victim that he wrote in his statement at the police that he was kidnapped in April but told the court that it was in February.The witness replied that it was a mistake, while Justice Oshodi adjourned the matter till May 11, 2018 for continuation of cross-examination and trial.
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