A wealthy Nigerian businessman and owner of Maydon Pharmaceuticals, Chief Donatus Dunu has narrated how he miraculously escaped from captivity and blew the whistle that nailed Evans and his gang members.
Dreaded kidnapper Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike aka Evans
He revealed that the Evans and his gang members held him in their captivity for 90 days and had planned to kill him the night he escaped.
Chief Donatus (as he preferred to be identified in this heart-rending story for security reasons), is an ardent Christian who believes that God’s will must manifest, no matter the situation.
A wealthy owner of one of the most flourishing pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria with outlets in major cities of the world, he was forced to pass through the eye of a needle after being abducted near his office on the celebrated lover’s day of February 14, 2017. At the end of the 90-day gruelling and shocking experience in the hands of his kidnappers led by the arrested notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudubem Omwuamadike a.k.a Evans, he miraculously escaped from their hideout.
Chief Donatus would not want his pictures published as police have not offered him any protection and he is still afraid of the Evans gang
On the 14th February, 2017, at about 7:30pm, while I was going home from my office at Ilupeju, I suddenly saw an SUV opposite me. I wanted to reverse but somebody in the front came down with a long gun and dragged me out from my car. He pushed me inside the SUV. Immediately they moved away from the street, they transferred me to the back of the SUV and covered me with a car mat while one of them sat on top of me. They drove me to an unknown place but before we got there, the one at the back with me now put iron (chain) on my hands. There were about five of them in the SUV. I was carried away and didn’t know what to say. I was afraid for my life and was thinking whether they were assassins or kidnappers because I have some cases in the court. So, I thought maybe those people are the ones after me.
Trip to hideout
When we got there, they asked me to come down but remain faced down, which I did. The house was a bungalow with a parlour and their generator was on. They asked me; are you Chief Donatus, I said yes, what’s your wife’s name? I told them. They now told me that they were not going to harm me, that what they wanted was their own share and that I should corporate. After that, they brought out one AK-47 and a pistol with live ammunitions and showed me that this is not a child’s play. They now brought out a locally made iron like chain and put on my legs, blindfolded me, then pushed me into one dark room. It was a self-contained room with bathroom and toilet inside. There was a standing fan, one high rise foam with bed spread and curtains on the widow but throughout my stay there, it was not opened even for one day. I was there till the following day. There was no food for me through out that night, but in the morning, they brought Indomie for me after brushing. I took my bath and ate. They asked me not to look at them any time I wanted to bath so when the time comes; I raised the blindfold up a bit, making sure that they did not see me.
For one month, I was there because gathering that money they were asking for was not easy. I did not know whether I was the only victim there or not because throughout my 90 days incarceration, I was only in that one room. He vowed to collect the ransom complete. My brothers went to collect a lot of money from our relatives. I know when it was one hundred million, but he still insisted. I knew there was a time the exchange dropped, so, he now asked them not to change the money. When he said one million Euros, the Euro was about five hundred and thirty naira per Euro. So, when the rate was dropping, he asked them not to change, that it was now naira they wanted because he thought naira was gaining value, which would have been five hundred million. When my brother now told them that he was not able to get one hundred million, they said he was talking rubbish. It was Tuesday before Easter; my brothers were doing everything to get me out to celebrate Easter with them. He now called my brother and said he should bring whatsoever they had; my brother now told them what he had.
He told my elder brother that he was going to be the one that would deliver the money and that he would shoot his two legs if he tried to joke with them. They were all quarrelling. The manger now took the phone from me and started insulting my brother that, he was very stupid, and very wicked, that he wanted me to die so that he could go and inherit my property. On Thursday, before Easter, I asked the manager about their chairman. I used to chat with them, and I was trying to be friendly with them. Then the manager told me that the chairman travelled to America. He came back the next Sunday after Easter. I now asked; can I talk to my brothers? Because it was like I have already been cut off from the real world.
Calls for change of negotiator
Exactly one month after Easter, he now called again that he didn’t want to discuss anything with my brothers again, that I should call another person. I now called my cousin and the manager asked me to tell chairman whenever he called that, my brother wanted to kill me so he should hands off this case. One day after that discussion with the chairman, I heard Emeka, my pharmacist discussing with them. Normally, he did come there every day. Sometimes, he stayed till late night. And I was overhearing his voice. At a point I thought, he was no longer living with his wife because he stayed late there.
Decision to kill me
I heard Emeka discussing with manager but what drew my attention was when the manager said “….ehh…for that reason, we don’t have choice than to kill him, we would kill him. We don’t have alternative than to kill him. I overheard Emeka calling my staff from there. He was complaining that I was very wicked, that this was what I have done to some persons. He was complaining that one of my pharmacists was not cooperating. When I now heard that they would kill me, I now encouraged myself that, maybe it’s not me. There was a day Emeka came again and said, “If you want to kill him, kill him, in fact, kill him” until that week that I escaped from them on Wednesday, Emeka came again and asked them whether they have killed me. They said no…that it is going to be on Friday night
Mysterious escape from the dark room
It was on Friday night that my miracle happened. Way back, for the 90 days period of my captivity, I was trying to remove that iron from my leg without success, but that night around 2:00 am to 3:00 am, something asked me to get up and I got up and prayed. After that, the voice said to me that I should try opening that padlock which I did. I squeezed small size of the bed spread and passed it through the padlock and pulled it with little effort once, and the padlock opened. I said to myself, God, if I go and these people catch me, I will die, and if I remain here till daybreak, I would also die. So, the best thing is that, let me go and try it. It was God that opened this padlock, because I know that it wasn’t my personal power. That God will lead me out. Before then, I had begged them to be leaving the door linking my room to the parlour open so that I will be getting fresh air from there. Luckily, there was light that night and there was curtain and linen, so I made sure that the inside of my room was darker than the palour so that, even if they opened the curtain and look inside, they would not see me. There were two of them sleeping at the palour and because there was light that night, I couldn’t step on anyone of them. I said to my God, I will go; I will go. I left for the palour, from there to the kitchen.
While inside that compound, I knocked at the door of a flat, one man and a woman came out. I told them that, I was a kidnap victim being kept in the other compound; I just managed to escape now, please help me. The man said, “Mr. Man get away from this compound before I call the police or vigilante for you” and I responded, please call the police. The man and his wife went back to sleep leaving me there alone. All of a sudden, everywhere became quiet again. One mind told me that I should go somewhere and hide till day break which I did.
Not up to ten minutes that I left to hide, my abductors now opened their gate looking for me everywhere with their motorcycles. I was in my hideout praying to God to save my life. I was there till day break. I was looking like a mad person. For three months, I had not shaved, everywhere was white, and I was only putting up a dirty boxer that I had worn for the past 90 days without washing. When those couple woke up and saw me, they were surprised and as he wanted to raise alarm, I said no, these people there don’t let them know I am here. I said to him, “please sir; can you just put me inside your booth and drive me away from here?” He said no …he was not going to do that, that I should wait here. He now said he was going to call the chairman of the estate. After about 45 minutes, they came back.
Rescue at last
One young boy that should be above 20 years came with something like a plastic conduit wiring and started chasing me away that, I should go out of the compound and he continued calling me a thief. There was this uniformed security personnel there, he hit me on the leg and I fell down. I was injured while jumping down from the fence. I now walked out of the compound to one school very close to my abductor’s gate. I was there as people gathered. I told them that, if these people come and see me here, they would kill me, this is how much I have offered them, that I’m not a thief but they insisted that I should wait until the estate chairman came. I asked what if they come with gun and all of you will run away and they will kill me.
Luckily, one young guy came and listened to me and asked if I could give him my wife’s number? I gave it to him, he called and the number did not go through. I then gave him my cousin’s number and he got him on phone. So, my cousin told him my story and he was now convinced. From there, we took a bike to the express from where we entered a bus. While inside the bus, people were just staring at me. What they used to blind fold me was a singlet, for ninety days, there was nothing like seeing the sun, so my body turned white. When we got to Idimu police division, we did not spend up to 20 minutes when my brother came.
They now contacted Ilupeju police division where they first made the report. From there, we went to command headquarters where we wasted a lot of time before going to Anti-Kidnapping unit at Surulere. After that, we went to Igando. While going there, I could not recognize the road but the young man that took me out of that place led us to the place. So, when we got to the estate, I was able to recognize the school where they asked me to sit down which was not too far from the place where I was kept for 90 days. I recognized the house by the coconut tree there and I told the security operatives, that this was the house. When we came to the gate, it was locked with a padlock and they have all run away. They had to break it and go inside where their cars, motorcycles and all their properties left behind were there. The security operatives went inside and collected all the weapons they left behind.