Saturday, 24 June 2017



Twitter In Nigeria Fumes As Evans, Notorious Kidnapper Becomes a 'Celebrity'



Nigerians on Twitter have reacted to the unprecedented media attention given the billionaire kidnap kingpin, Evans since his arrest by the police.
 
Evans, the kidnapper
 
The capture of Nigeria’s most-wanted kidnapper should have been a cause for national celebration in the West African country, which has been blighted by high-profile abductions and ransom payments for years.
 
But instead, many Nigerians have been left angry by what they view as the national media glamorizing the crimes of Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans.
 
Police in the port city of Lagos captured Evans from Anambra State, in southeastern Nigeria, earlier in June following a 'gun battle' with the suspect and his associates.
 
The 36-year-old is allegedly responsible for the abductions of numerous victims, including foreign nationals, traditional chiefs and wealthy businessmen. For some of these, he reportedly demanded ransoms of up to $1 million—almost 400 times the average annual income of a person in Nigeria.
 
Evans, speaking with journalists
 
Unsurprisingly, Evans is thought to be one of Nigeria’s wealthiest criminals, owning two mansions in an upmarket Lagos district and another two in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
 
But now, Nigerians on social media are fuming over the media scrum for coverage of Evans. The alleged kidnapper has given interviews to several major Nigerian outlets, including a nearly nine-minute video interview with Channels Television, one of the country’s biggest networks, that has been viewed almost a quarter of a million times on YouTube. Evans’s wife and family have made emotional appeals for his release, and photos of his luxury properties have been published.
 
Evans with police men
 
This has not gone down well with Nigerians on social media, who have called for harsh penalties for the alleged criminal. (Earlier in 2017, the Lagos governor signed a decree authorizing the death penalty for kidnappers in cases in which the victim dies.)
 
See from sound bites from Twitter below:
 
 
 
For the time being, the fate of one of Nigeria’s most notorious criminals remains unclear: High-profile trials often take years in Nigeria, and Evans has reportedly promised to become an anti-kidnapping ambassador if he is granted a second chance. But one thing is clear: Nigerians have no time for nonsense on social media.
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