A team of police officers have arrested a man suspected to be an arms supplier to suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Owuamadike, popularly known as Evans.
Godwin Chinyere, 46, was intercepted by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police, two years after Evans was arrested.
Evans was arrested on June 2017 in Magodo area of Lagos State by the IRT, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
He is facing trial at the Lagos State High Courts of Igbosere and Ikeja and was said to have mentioned Chinyere at the time of his arrest, as his major arms supplier.
According to a police source, the suspected kidnapper confessed during his arrest that some of the rocket launchers and Ak-47 rifles used by members of his gang in during operations were supplied to him by Chinyere, who he said had contacts with arms dealers in Chad and the Niger Republic.
The source explained that security operatives launched a manhunt on Chinyere at the time they received the information from Evans, the suspect went into hiding after he found out that Evans had been arrested.
He added that Chinyere came out of hiding recently and was trailed to Asaba, the Delta State capital where he was apprehended.
The suspected arms dealer was said to have confessed selling five Ak-47 rifles allegedly to Evans when he was interviewed
He explained that he began selling and making firearms in the year 1990 after he dropped out of primary school and his parents couldn’t afford his school fees.
Chinyere told reporters that he was taught how to produce locally-made guns from his boss who he said have been killed by security operatives for gun-running.
He said, “I learned how to make locally made guns from a village known as Abala and it was one Chinaka Nnawakwo and that thought me the job. I spent three years learning the job before I started making my own.
“I have several customers who were gun-runners coming to buy guns from me in large quantities. I usually sell locally made double-barrel guns for the sum of N10,000 and the single barrel was sold for N6,000, while the locally short guns were sold for N10,000.”
“One of my customers, Samuel Nwakpa, who was coming from the Kaduna State to buy guns from me, was the person who 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 wound and his native doctor Eyinaya Hearth, linked him to me,” the suspect claimed.
He added, “I knew he was using it for armed robbery and for kidnapping. Evans paid me the sum of N1.7million for the five Ak-47 rifles after they were supplied to me in Chad.
“The rifles were concealed in bags of fish and I took my commissions and gave the rest of the money to Nwapka, who also supplied the rocket launchers to Evans.”
Chinyere said before Evans was arrested, he had stopped the business and turned a new leaf, but fled and went into hiding.
“I warned Evans to stop kidnapping when I turned a new leaf but he wouldn’t listen to me,” he lamented.