- Evans' brother-in-law says his wife's family lived in abject poverty even though the kidnapper was a billionaire
- Evans' wife, Uchenna, was the last of 13 children and had to marry early to escape the poverty
- Uchenna's brother says she never came home after getting married in 2006
Barely two weeks after NAIJ.com reported the arrest of notorious kidnapper Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans, more details about his operations and some details about his immediate and extended family have also been brought to the fore.
According to Vanguard, a visit to the kidnapper's wife's village in Awo-Oraifite, Ekwusigo local government area in Anambra state, revealed the state of abject poverty she grew up in.
Precious Uchenna Onwuamadike, became a subject of public scrutiny after her husband was caught because of his nefarious activities. It is no surprise that information which would have otherwise been overlooked, was eventually dug up.
One of her brothers, Mr Chukwuemeka Okoye, told Vanguard how the family has been struggling to make ends meet, engaging in menial jobs, despite having a billionaire in-law.
Despite collecting ransom in billions and owning several mansions both in Nigeria and Ghana, it was apparent Evans did little or nothing to change the living situation of his in-laws who lived in a shabby bungalow.
Precious's elder brother, Chukwuemeka, a peasant farmer who occasionally works as a labourer on construction sites, said she never visited home since getting married in 2006.
“Our late father was already bedridden when Evans married Uchenna, our sister. My sister knew how difficult it was for the family and how sick our father was, but, after her marriage, no member of the family set eyes or heard from her up till now. For the eight years that our father was sick before he died in 2014 , Uchenna neither visited nor sent anybody to know how the family was coping. Sometimes I say to myself that it is possible that Evans charmed my sister because this was a girl that was very caring and homely. For her to abandon the family did not look normal to me.
During the burial of our father, it was her father in-law, Mr. Stephen Onwuamadike, that came with his relations and could not even fulfill the conditions required during such situation in Igbo land. Uchenna and her husband, Evans, did not come to the village for the burial.
For some years now, our mother has been down with diabetes and one of my brothers living in the North had to take her to keep close watch on her. She would have preferred staying at home, but having seen that it would be extremely difficult for me to manage the sickness due to lack of financial resources, she agreed to go to the North.
My sister and her husband have not been communicating with us and we don’t even know where they live. There was a time someone said they were living abroad. I am, therefore, shocked to hear that Uchenna’s husband is a suspected kidnapper and that he had made so much money.
My sister that I knew would have escaped from his house if she found out that the man she married is a kidnapper and that is why I say that everything is not normal with her. I had not even left this village for apprentice in the North when she got married and I am now married with four children and my sister does not know whether I am alive or not. It is even possible that I might not recognize her if I see her, not to talk of knowing her children. My wife here (pointing at her where she was seated and listening) does not know about her because we have never discussed anything about Uchenna. I am also surprised to hear that she has five children.
My elder brother once told me that he communicated with her and there is no way I could know their present predicament because I do not watch television, neither do I have a mobile phone that can be used for browsing. I cannot even identify my brother in-law, Evans, if we meet anywhere because the last time I set eyes on him was the day he came here and took my sister away 11 years ago.”
Chukwuemeka is however begging for his sister and her husband to be given a second chance to repent and change their ways because they have seen the consequences of their crime.
Also speaking on the issue, Uchenna's cousin, Reverend Emmanuel Okoye, confirmed that they had lost touch with her, and only heard about her due to Evan's recent arrest. He said:
“We were all living in that house (pointing at the bungalow), but as the family became larger, coupled with frequent family squabbles, we left the house because it was built by their father. I have not asked her immediate family about what I saw on the internet concerning her and husband because we have not been relating as we should.”
Most of the villagers encountered by the Vanguard reporter expressed surprise that Uchenna was from their village, as they barely remembered her, seeing as she left the village as a young girl.
A villager who gave his name as Francis Odinuko, said it was a good thing Evans didn't build a house for his in-laws, as it would have been demolished according to the Anambra state government policy. He recalled a similar situation where another notorious kidnapper known as Olisagbo Ifedike, a.k.a Ofe Akwu, suffered that fate.
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Odinuko asked the government to pay no mind to Evans' plea for leniency, saying he must pay for his crime. He said:
“Not minding that the wife is from my town, Evans should face the music because of the suffering he inflicted on many families and innocent people who he denied freedom,”
He also asked that the money he took from his victims be returned to them.
Na wa o!
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com TV visited one of Evans the notorious kidnapper's expensive houses: