Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested an arms dealer, Godwin Chinyere who allegedly sold most of the arms and ammunition used by suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans.
Evans, who was arrested in June 2017 by the IRT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari was said to have mentioned Chinyere as his major arms supplier during interrogation.
Police sources said Evans, who is currently standing trial at the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere and Ikeja confessed that some of the rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles used by members of his gang during kidnap operations were all supplied by Chinyere.
Operatives of the IRT then launched a manhunt for Chinyere, who was said to have contacts with arms dealers in Chad and Niger Republic at the time . Chinyere has confessed that he went into hiding knowing that Evans would give out information about him.
The 46-year-old Chinyere came out of hiding recently when he felt that the Evans’ case had gone to court and the IRT operatives hunting for him may have channelled their energy to other cases.
Unaware that the hunt for him was still on, he was trailed to Asaba in Delta State where he was eventually apprehended.
Chinyere confessed to selling five AK-47 rifles to Evans when he was interviewed and that he began selling and making firearms in 1990 after he dropped out of primary school because his parents could not afford his school fees.
Speaking to Vanguard, Chinyere revealed that he comes from Obingwa in Abia State and that he learned how to make guns from his boss, one Chinaka Nwankwo whom he said was killed by security operatives for gun running.
His said: “I learned how to make guns in a village known as Abala. I spent three years learning the job before I started making my own. I have several customers and gun runners coming to buy guns from me in large quantities.
“I usually sold locally-made double-barrelled guns for N10,000 and single-barrelled ones went for N6,000 while shotguns sold for N10,000.
“One of my customers, Samuel Nwakpa, who was coming from Kaduna State to buy guns from me linked me to big arms dealers in Chad and Niger republic.
“They were the people who supplied me the five AK-47 rifles I sold to Evans, which he used for his bank robbery and kidnapping activities. I met Evans when he came to my village to treat his bullet wounds and his native doctor, Enyinnaya Hearth linked him to me.
“I knew he was using them for robbery and kidnapping. Evans paid me N1.7 million for the five AK-47 rifles after they were supplied to me from Chad.
“The rifles were concealed in bags of fish and I took my commission and gave the rest of the money to Nwakpa who also supplied the rocket launchers to Evans.
“Before Evans was arrested, I had stopped doing the business because I turned a new leaf.
“I went into hiding when he was arrested because I knew he was going to mention my name to the Police and I didn’t even know that the Police were still looking for me when I came out of hiding and was arrested.
“I warned Evans to stop kidnapping when I turned a new leaf but he wouldn’t listen to me.”