The police in Lagos have arrested a man they described as the most wanted abduction specialist who led a “massive” kidnap syndicate with presence in major parts of the country, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike, a 36-year-old native of Anambra State, was nabbed inside Magodo Phase II around noon Saturday, marking an end to a near decade-long manhunt by law enforcement authorities.
Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, who confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES Saturday evening, said Mr. Onuamadike’s arrest was a major success and a moral booster in the war against incessant kidnapping, which has become a lucrative enterprise for hardened criminals in recent years.
Mr. Moshood, a chief superintendent of police, said the suspect was arrested by police intelligence monitoring unit put together by the Inspector-General, Ibrahim Idris.
“Millions of Nigerians in different parts of the a country who dreaded this suspect will now be able to sleep with their two eyes closed,” Mr. Moshood said.
The police first caught wind of Mr. Onuamadike’s activities when he allegedly began terrorising resident of several Lagos neighbourhoods, especially Festac Town and its environs.
It was in Festac that Mr. Onuamadike allegedly masterminded the abduction of Vincent Obianudo, the billionaire owner of Young Shall Grow Motors, in 2013.
Mr. Onuamadike, a.k.a.: Evans, has presence in the South-South corridor, where he allegedly established many kidnap formations that operated in major settlements along the East-West Road, including the Port-Harcourt and Warri, both with a high number of oil workers.
The Vanguard reported earlier this year that Mr. Onuamadike, whom the paper described only by his alias, had orchestrated more than a dozen high-profile kidnappings.
The paper suggested that the syndicate pocketed up to $1 million dollars each in three different abductions in of citizens in Lagos in 2015.
Mr. Moshood said the suspect had allegedly deviced a unique method of extracting ransom from victims.
“He keeps his victims for up to six to seven months in captivity until when their families pay amounts ranging from N300 to 400 million as ransom in several installments,” the police spokesperson said.
Dozens of suspects attached to Mr. Onuamadike’s kidnap formations across the country have been killed in shootouts with law enforcement officers since 2010, the police said.