By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
THE owner of Maydon Pharmaceutical Company, Ilupeju, Lagos, Chief Donatus Dunu, who escaped mysteriously from the den of Evans’ kidnapping gang at Igando, a suburb of Lagos, before the gang was rounded up by the police, yesterday, lamented that the recent release of his workers suspected to have taken part in his abduction has placed his life in danger.
Chief Dunu who was troubled by the development told newsmen that it was improper for either the police or the court to grant bail to suspects involved in such a high profile case where startling revelations of the leader of the dangerous kidnapping gang has continued to shock the world.
He said: “Nobody should have allowed those suspected workers in my company to be granted bail because I have evidence of the active participation of my pharmacist, name withheld, in the deadly operation. Releasing him has worsened my plight as I and members of my family now live in perpetual fear of our lives.
“Why should the police release him, the chief accomplice in my kidnap? I not only heard his voice while in captivity, having been with him since 2003, but saw him there few days after the kidnap. He came to ask them where I was kept. When they showed him, he opened the door where they kept me in chains and our eyes met. Though I was blindfolded, I was about eating when I heard his voice and I normally remove the blind. That was how I saw him and had the greatest shock of my life.
“He was always there with my abductors. His voice is unmistakable having interacted with him for many years. The man in charge of the den, Uche, whom he claims he does not know, speaks the same dialect with him. He is the man one of the suspected pharmacists used to meet each time he visited. There was another member of the gang who speaks Abakaliki dialect and I don’t know whether those in police net have confessed his whereabout to the police.
“I have a strong feeling that the manager of the den, Uche and the man I am accusing are from the same town because they speak the same dialect. Those guarding me were initially two but when the Abakaliki man travelled on Easter Monday, they brought another person to replace him. That one was very sick because he was coughing constantly. I knew that the Abakaliki man travelled because I heard the man I am suspecting of discussing with Uche, on whether he had travelled and Uche said, yes.
“That same Easter Monday, I overheard him and Uche saying; “We will kill him. We have no alternative until Chairman comes back. Two weeks after this, Chairman came back and I knew whenever he visited because they would shut all the doors and switch on the generator perhaps, to stifle their discussions. His visit did not last for more than ten minutes and that was the first and only time he came to the den while I was there. That night, the Abakaliki man brought Indomine for my dinner. He told me to eat so that I will have enough energy to face ‘us at the canal.’ They later told me that canal was where they use to ‘bath’ their captives and I concluded that it meant where they killed their victims. They trumpeted this daily.
“I was made to understand that the Abakaliki man was the one that would kill me if the chairman gave the order. That was when I realised that the killing they were discussing with suspected pharmacist was about to take place. Earlier, I thought that the killing they were discussing must be probably another person. But after the discussion on the canal, I knew that I was their target. After that, I overheard him again, about two weeks later, discussing with Uche that, “If they want to kill him, they should kill him. In fact, kill him.”Their last discussion was on a Wednesday before my escape on Friday. I heard him again asking whether they have killed me. They said no, it was going to be Friday night. That was when I concluded that it was all over.
“I have never had issues with him. The only thing was that I suspected that he and some of my boys were stealing goods from my warehouse and I made changes which I suspect did not favour him. I strongly suspect that this must have been his motive to connive with those kidnappers. In fact, before my abduction, we had a meeting with a foreign partner and I remember vividly that during one of my telephone conversations with their Chairman whom I suspect is Evans, he asked me who the two ladies in my office were, the same day I was kidnapped.
“One of the suspects came to the office that day and those ladies were with me. Why did the chairman ask that question, who told him that I was with two ladies in my office? These are the unanswered questions and police should have asked these questions.
“Secondly, my abductors told me that they have a group picture of my staff which we took last January. We used to meet every January and all the sales representatives including the pharmacist attended. They also claimed they went to take inventory of the goods in my warehouse; yes, they did but we are still auditing to know whether goods were missing or not. Even an account opening document was found on one of the pharmacists’ official car before he was taken to anti-kidnapping unit after his arrest. He was the only visitor that came to the den while I was there. He is not an ordinary friend to those that guarded me.
“I feel so bad that the police allowed the court to set him free thereby endangering my life. I don’t think the police carried out thorough investigation after the so-called identification parade which was simply a charade. Even if the court had course to grant him bail, the police know how to go about such cases by re-arresting him until they carried out diligent investigation. I am, therefore, calling on police authorities to do the needful by re-arresting him and investigating him thoroughly,” he stated.
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