- His arrest puts to rest mounting suspicions –EXCO
Seven days after the arrest of kidnap kingpin, Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike, aka Evans by the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Unit, traders and businessmen in Alaba and ASPAMDA International Markets in Lagos have pleaded with the police to comprehensively purge the markets which they say serve as hideout for kidnappers, robbers and assassins.
The traders noted that the bad name given to market would be a thing of the past when a thorough raiding exercise and identification of who owned shops are carried out. A businessman, identified simply as Mr. Igbokwe said a thorough raid of the markets was needed because the crowd of criminals had swallowed up every one. “Kidnappers, assassins, robbers that are more deadly hide in this market.
Many of them don’t have shops, they pretend to be traders in the day but at night they rob. There is a place in Alaba Arago dedicated to criminals and miscreants and they roam freely without check. After robbing, they run to that hideout and nothing happens,” he said.
This comes after it was revealed that Evans, the billionaire kidnapping boss, was into the crime while deceiving many he had a business in ASPAMDA. However, many traders in ASPAMDA claimed they had no knowledge he had a business in the market.
It was learnt that two of his victims, he collected $1m from Cosmas Uduji and Uche Okeafor, are successful businessmen in ASPAMDA and Alaba respectively. He successfully managed syndicate informants in the markets to pick the innocent business moguls.
Okafor, it was learnt was the Chairman of DENSINE Group who has micro-finance banks, Electronic Plaza and a conglomerate of international businesses. The Oba of Ojoto, as he is called in Osumili, area of Anambara State, is a philanthropist both at home and abroad.
At his DENSINE Plaza in Alaba there was joy among his boys because of the capture of their Oga’s kidnapper, Evans. One of them that craved anonymity said: “It was incredible asking a private businessman, no matter how successful to pay you, a kidnapper, $1m to regain freedom.
The man must be a first son of Satan.” Meanwhile, traders and executive members of the market committee have been in jubilation .This comes as spokesman for the Alaba Electronics Dealers Association, High Chief Anthony Ukah, said Evans’ arrest had put to rest rising suspicions of who and who got involved in the kidnapping.
Two billionaire businessmen in the market, Chief Raymon Okoye , aka Rayco and Uchechukwu Okafo ,(Comstar) were kidnapped by Evans and his cohort and made to pay $1m each as ransom after three and four months in captivity respectively.
While Okoye made his billions as the sole importer of Robin Generating sets and franchise with Yamaha, Okafor owns Comstar Electric Cables. They also have plaza, warehouses and shops in the market. Evans was nabbed last Saturday in his Magodo phase 2 mansion in Lagos while he was packing his things to jet out of the country.
He was arrested by Inspector General of Police, Special Intelligence Team. Ukah who spoke to our correspondent on Friday said the entire traders from Alaba to Trade Fair International market have been rejoicing because as the abductions were happening no one knew the next victim.
“ We are very happy that the man behind the kidnapping of Rayco and Okafor last year have been caught. It is always logical for people to think that either friends or colleagues in the market were accessories to their abductions and made to pay $1m.
The suspicions building has been put to rest and we are expecting the Police to thoroughly grill Evans to mention the bigwigs that aided the abduction of these men. He has been mentioning his gang members, some of who said Evans gave them pittance. But there is need for him to open up more”. Ukah said since after the kidnapping and ransom payment by Rayco and Okafo, they have been withdrawn.”
Since the unfortunate incident, they have been withdrawn, they were members of our market committee, but could not attend meetings anymore even when we call them on the telephone, they hardly picked up our phone calls”. When our correspondent visited both Rayco and Comstar plaza offices of the two business moguls, though they were not around their employees and tenants were in jubilant mood.
A security man who identified himself simply as Mr. Samson said they were happy that the kidnapper was finally caught and would be made to face the law. “ Our Oga has been happy that God spared his life after about three months trauma in the hands of this cruel Evans.
The family is happy too. We are now waiting for law enforcement agencies to do their own job. Everybody is watching”. A business woman who identified herself simply as Vivian said Evans needs to be hanged to serve as deterrent to other criminals.