A 46-year-old notorious arms dealer, Godwin Chinyere, who was alleged to have sold most of the firearms, ammunitions and rocket launchers used by billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, has been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team.
Evans, who was arrested in June 2017 in his mansion in the highbrow area of Magodo, Lagos State by the IRT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, is currently standing trial at Lagos State High Courts in Igbosere and Ikeja.
He was said to have mentioned Chinyere at the time of his arrest as his major arms supplier.
Police sources disclosed that Evans confessed during his arrest that some of the rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles used by members of his gang in blowing up bank security doors and bullion vans during robbery and kidnapping operations, were all supplied to him by Chinyere, who he said had contacts with arms dealers in Chad and Niger Republic.
The sources explained that operatives of the IRT launched a manhunt for Chinyere at the time they received this information from Evans, but that he became elusive and went into hiding as he was aware that Evans had been arrested and would give out information as he was singing like a bird.
A source added that Chinyere came out of hiding recently when he felt that the Evans case has gone to court and the IRT operatives hunting for him may have channeled their energy into other cases of national importance but was unaware that the hunt for him was still on.
He was trailed to Asaba, Delta State, where he was hiding.
He confessed selling five AK-47 rifles to Evans when he was interviewed.
He said he began selling and making firearms in 1990 after he dropped out of primary school and his parents couldn’t afford his school fees.
Chinyere is a native of Obingwa area of Abia State.
He said he learnt how to make local guns from his boss, late Chinaka Nnawakwo, who he said has been killed by security operatives for gun running.
He said: “I learned how to make locally made guns from village known as Abala and it was one Chinaka Nnawakwo 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 single barrel was sold for N6,000, while the locally short guns were sold for N10,000.
“One of 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 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.
“I knew he was using it for armed robbery for kidnapping.
“Evans paid me the sum of 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 commissions and gave the rest of the money to Nwapka, who also supplied the rocket launchers to Evans.
“Before Evans was arrested, I have stopped doing the business and I and turned a new leaf, but I fled and went into hiding when he was arrested because I knew he was going to mention my name to the police and I don’t even know that the police still looking for me when I came out of hiding and I was arrested.
“I warned Evans to stop kidnapping when I turned a new leaf but he wouldn’t listen to me.”