…arms bought from Chad, Niger, says supplier
A 46-year-old man, Mr. Godwin Chinyere, said to be arms and ammunition supplier of alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans, has been arrested after two years on the run.
Chinyere was arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari.
Even when all trails to arrest Chinyere turned cold, the IRT operatives refused to close the case file.
The suspect was believed to have gone underground after news of Evans’ arrest spread like wildfire. Chinyere, believing that the dust has settled, crawled out of his hideout this year. He was shocked out of his wits when IRT operatives surrounded him like fleas over a dog in Asaba, Delta State.
The suspect is believed to be the major arms and ammunition supplier of Evans. Police said that Chinyere supplied Evans rocket launchers to carry out his alleged robbery and kidnap operations.
After his arrest, Evans confessed that some of the rocket launchers and AK47 rifles, used by members of his gang in blowing up bank security doors and vaults were supplied by Chinyere. Evans told operatives that Chinyere had contacts with arms’ dealers in Chad and Niger Republic.
“I sell locally-made double-barrelled guns for N10,000 and single-barrelled guns for N6,000. I also sell locally-made short guns for N10,000. One of my customers, Samuel Nwakpa, who usually comes from Kaduna State to buy guns from me, was the person that linked me to big arms’ dealers in Chad and Niger Republic. They were the people that supplied me the five AK47 rifles, which I sold to Evans.
“I met Evans when he came to my village to treat his bullet wound; his native doctor, Eyinnaya Hearth, linked him to me. I knew Evans was using the weapons for robbery and kidnapping. He paid me N1.7 million for the five AK47 rifles after they were supplied,” Chinyere said.
A police source said: “Operatives of the IRT launched a manhunt for Chinyere after Evans disclosed roles he played in his operations. Chinyere became elusive and went into hiding after he was aware that IRT operatives were hunting for him. Chinyere recently came out of hiding when he knew that Evans’ case has gone to court, thinking the hunt for him was over. He felt IRT operatives had close his case file and moved to other cases. He was tracked and trailed to Asaba, Delta State, where he had been hiding and arrested.
“The suspect confessed to have sold five AK47 rifles to Evans. He said that he started selling and making firearms in 1990 after he dropped out of primary school. He said that he had to drop out of school because his parents could no longer afford his school fees.”
Chinyere, a native of Obingwa area of Abia State, said that he learned to make locally-made guns from his late boss, Chinaka Nnawakwo. The suspect said that Nnawakwo was killed by security operatives for gunrunning.
He said: “I learned how to make locally-made guns from Abala village. It was Chinaka Nnawakwo that taught me the job. I spent three years learning how to make guns before I started my own outfit. I have several customers who were gunrunners coming to buy guns from me in large quantities. The rifles were usually concealed in bags of fish. I took my commissions and gave the rest of the money to Samuel Nwapka, who also supplied the rocket launchers to Evans.
“Before Evans was arrested, I had already stopped the gunrunning business. I have turned a new leaf. I went into hiding when Evans was arrested because I knew he was going to mention my name to the police. I didn’t even know that the police were still hunting for me. When I came out of hiding, I was arrested. I warned Evans to stop kidnapping after I repented and turned a new leaf, but he wouldn’t listen.”
Evans was arrested in June 2017, in his Magodo Mansion, Lagos State, by the IRT operatives for a series of alleged kidnappings and robberies. He is currently standing trial at the Lagos State High Courts at Igbosere and Ikeja.