An Ikeja high court was told yesterday that alleged notorious
billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans, collected
N100 million as ransom from the family of his victim, Donatus Duru.
The elder brother of Donatus, Anslem Duru, disclosed this at the opening
of the trial of Evans and five others before Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
According to The Nation, Mr. Anselem Dunu, who is the Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, said the N100 million
was changed to €223,000, which was the currency that the kidnappers
Donatus Dunu was kidnapped sometime in February this year at Ilupeju, Lagos.
Anselem, who is the prosecution lead witness, mounted the witness box at
about 3.55 pm and told the court that his brother was not released
until the family had paid the N100 million ransom demanded by Evans.
Earlier when the trial opened, the State Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP), Titilayo Shitta-Bay, who led the state prosecution team, asked
Anselem if he recognised the defendants in the dock.
The witness said he recognised the fourth defendant, Nwachukwu, whom he
had always known, and Evans, who he said he met later in the course of
investigation by the police.
Led by Shitta-Bey, Anselm in his testimony gave an account of the
harrowing experience that the family went through when Donatus was
kidnapped and how they struggled to raise N100 million to secure his
He said after the kidnapping, the hoodlums stopped contacting the family
till about two weeks after, when he got a call from a hidden number on
his mobile phone.
“When I picked the call, it was Donatus’ agitated voice that I
heard. He was pleading that the family should immediately go and
withdraw all the funds in his bank account and deliver same to the
kidnappers to prevent them from taking his life.
“Donatus told me the
kidnappers insisted on a ransom of €1m, but the family could only raise
N100 million, which was converted to €223,000 and delivered to them.”
to him, one Uchenna Okafor took the money already packed in cellophane
bags in a Honda car and headed towards Oshodi at about 7.45 pm on the
agreed date and as instructed by the kidnappers.
Anselem said Okafor did not return until about 11 pm on the said date,
adding that it was not until about two weeks after then that he got the
news of Donatus’ release.
He said when Donatus was released,
“he looked terribly emaciated. He had not shaved for a long time and he looked just like the early man.”
Justice Oshodi adjourned till November 17 for Anselem’s cross-examination by the defence.
Meanwhile, the court considered an application seeking the release of
the third defendant on bail on health grounds and adjourned till
November 17 for ruling.
Earlier, Evans’ lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, told the court that he had
also filed an application for Evans to be released on bail.
Ogungbeje also told the court that his other application sought to quash the charges against his client.
But the DPP opposed it, describing Evans’s application for bail and
quash of charges as “conflicting, confusing and an abuse of court
Justice Oshodi declined to hear the applications.
Earlier, the DPP had described Evans’s application for bail and
accelerated hearing filed along with an application to quash the charges
as “conflicting, confusing and an abuse of court processes.”