Chief Conatus Duru, one of the victims of suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans, on Friday told the Ikeja Special Offences Court how he was kidnapped and escaped from his abductors.
Duru made the disclosure while being led in evidence before Justice Hakeem Oshodi by the Director Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms Titi Shitta-Bey.
The victim told the court he spent 88 days in the kidnappers’ den located somewhere in Igando, Lagos before his escape.
“I closed from work at 7:30 p.m. when an SUV double-crossed me in Ilupeju and a man came down from the car and pointed a long gun at me.
“He dragged me down and pushed me into the booth of their car and covered the car.
“I found myself in their den and during an interaction with their chairman, Evans, on phone, he told me that it was only God that could save me from their hands. He said no man will ever find me even if they kill me.
Duru said after spending 88 days in the kidnappers’ den, he overheard them one day, discussing what should be done to him.
“I overheard one of the kidnappers telling others that the best option was to kill me since my brothers were not acting fast in paying their one million Euro ransom.
“But after I prayed in the midnight of Thursday, before the Friday they scheduled to kill me, I wrapped the bed spread in the room where they kept me, round the shackles on my legs, like the one used to chain mad people, the padlocks opened up.
“I quietly went out of the room where they kept me. I found one of the kidnappers guarding me in deep sleep on a three-seater in the parlour.
“I walked to the kitchen, found the doors open and the protector. I eased my way through loose locks, and surprisingly found a ladder in the compound and that aided my escape into the next compound.
“After I jumped into the next compound which was also a bungalow like the one I was kept, I sustained injuries. In addition, I was looking very unkempt and haggard.”
Duru said when the couple living inside the compound he jumped to saw him, they were scared.
“They threatened to call security in the street or the police. I told them to call the police.
“Just when they were about to do that, electricity went off and they abandoned me and went back to sleep.
“At that time, I realized that the kidnappers had started looking for me. So I hid somewhere in the compound till the morning.
“The couple woke up to see me and decided to call the street chairman. But before they could do that, a young man of about 24 years old flogged and chased me out of the compound.
“I got to a nursery school around the kidnappers’ den and the corporate guards there didn’t still believe my story. Somehow, another man who listened to my story decided to call my wife and cousin when I gave him their numbers.
He said it was only his cousin’s phone that connected and the guards spoke with him.
“So the man became convinced that I was not a thief. He then took me to Idimu Police Station from where they contacted Ilupeju Police Station where my brothers initially logged the complaint about my disappearance.
“From there, we went to the police Anti-Cultism and Kidnap unit in Surulere and from there to Lagos State Police Commissioner’s office and all of us went to the kidnappers’ den.
“Thereafter, I was taken to police house in Lagos where I saw Evans and the second defendant. Also at Agege police station, I saw the fourth defendant known as Congo, who is from my home town.
“At the meetings, they pleaded that I should forgive them, that it was devil that pushed them.”