An Igbosere High Court in Lagos yesterday heard how multi-millionaire kidnapper Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (aka Evans) allegedly directed an employee of a kidnap victim abducted in Lagos to deliver $1 million ransom in two instalments in the Southeast.
A witness, Izuchukwu Ezeuko, told the court that he first travelled to the Southeast to deliver $800,000 in a bid to free his boss.
After his boss was freed, he was forced to pay additional $200,000, the witness said.
Ezeuko, who testified in the trial of Onwuamadike for two separate kidnapping charges, said he was given instructions by an unknown voice on where to drop the money.
His co-accused in the first charge are: Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba, while those charged with him in the second are: Emeka, Linus Okpara and Aduba.
Ezeuko said he was a manager in a factory belonging to Mr James Uduji, who was abducted on September 7, 2015.
The witness said he got a call at 5 p.m on that fateful day that his employer, who was at the factory at Agbara in Ogun State, had been abducted on his way home.
He said he got a call on October 10, 2015 from a private number and was asked to speak with his boss.
Ezeuko said: “My boss then spoke to me and said if I wanted him alive, I should go to the Southeast to deliver the money to suspected kidnappers.
“I went to FESTAC and met Mr Edwin Uduji, the victim’s brother, who arranged the first $800,000 for me to travel with.
“On October 11, I drove to the East with the victim’s elder sister. In the East, a voice gave us instructions on how to drop the money.”
According to him, they were made to drive round Anambra State: from Awka, the state capital, to Ozubulu as well as Ekwuluobia and the environs, and were asked to stop at Oba.
“It was at Oba the voice asked the victim’s sister to come down from the vehicle with the money.
“The voice directed her to an uncompleted building where she dropped the money. It was dark so we did not see who picked the money,” Ezeuko said.
He said two weeks after the $800,000 ransom was dropped, the abductors freed his boss.
Ezeuko, the fifth witness in the trial, said he agreed to travel from Lagos to the East to drop the ransom to aid the freedom of his boss.
He said towards the end of October, his boss asked him to take another $200,000 to the abductors because they were still threatening his life.
Ezeuko said he again travelled to the East and was instructed to drop the cash on the Onitsha expressway.
During cross-examination by Evans lawyer Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku, the witness said he did not inform the police about the ransom before paying.
He said he also did not obtain the call logs or give them to the police to identify who called or gave him instructions.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye adjourned further hearing till October 8.