Derico Nwamama The 22 Years Deadliest Armed Robber Who Terrorise Nigeria
In the early 2000s, Okwudili Ndiwe popular known as Derico Nwamama, was the King of the Underworld in the Eastern parts of the country; a clear replication of the likes of Lawrence Anini and Ishola Oyenusi.
Derico Nwamama started out as a Street Urchin in Onitsha,then graduated to a pick pocket,and then to a dreaded Criminal whose mere mention of his name sent shivers down the spines of everyone in the entire South East part of Nigeria.
Before Derico Nwamama became famous for his Exploits in the City of Onitsha, The entire Anambra State was under the control of another Ruthless, Merciless and Cold Blooded Armed Robber known as Chiejina.
Under the Reign of Chiejina and his gang, all residents of Onitsha were living in fear and trembling.
Infact a Policeman once told horrifying story about Chiejina
It was said that “on 16th of February 1999, two days after valentine celebration, Chiejina, acting on a tip off besieged a family in Onitsha hoping to get money from the man of the house but unfortunately, the man didn’t come home with money, he had gone to the bank before going home.
Chiejina became so enraged that he grabbed the man’s 4months old son, threatened to throw the baby from a 3 storey building, and when the man and his wife weren’t forthcoming with his demands, he flung the baby from 3 storey building and shot the man twice in the head”!
Infact Reports have it that he forced families to have incest in front of him for his own amusement. He forced Fathers to sleep with their daughters and Mothers to sleep with their sons, and Refusal meant death!
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Derico and Chiejina partnership
Derico Nwamama and Chiejina were very good friends and also colleagues in the Armed Robbery Business, friendship that started during the famous Umuleri/Aguleri War. But Derico Nwamama was not based in Onitsha then,he was based in Abuja,Federal Capital territory
He only visits east from time to time to carry out his robbery operations with terror.
And after raining a torrent of bullets and on our ill-equipped Police officers and Civilians, he would speed back to his safe haven,with his loot Safe on the laps of power, Luxury & comfort.
The End of chiejina reign as armed robber
But according to reports, problem started in November 1999, when the then Obi Of Onitsha, HRH Obi Ofala Okagbue rallied Onitsha-Ado Youths to help curb the ever rising Crime in the City to enable indigenes who ran away to return for the Christmas Celebration of that year…
Ado youths then sat together with some of the notorious armed robbers to know how to settle them and have peace return to the City of Onitsha…
Chiejina and Derico Nwamama were present in the meeting!
But after the meeting, the deadly Chiejina refused to stand down, infact he attacked some members of the Ado Youth and became even more Ruthless in the entire State!
Ado Youths then sought the help of his bossom friend Derico Nwamama,they decided to give him a taste of his own medicine!
They liaised with Derico Nwamama and some special Police Officers to raid Chiejina and his gang.
The Operation was not totally successful because Chiejina was not present at the time but members of his gang were rounded up and sent to The Central Police Station, Onitsha.
When Chiejina learnt what happened, he felt betrayed by his bossom friend, Derico, and without thinking about the consequences, called on his right hand man who also doubled as his bike man, Amobi, to take him straight to Derico’s parent’s house.
On getting there, he met Derico’s father and decorated the man with lots of bullets!
Derico Nwamama heard about it, he set out for revenge immediately, he ran into Chiejina close to Emmanuel Church at Ugwunokpamba road, Onitsha and pumped in lots of bullets into the Chiejina
Derico Nwamama then put Chiejina into a wheelbarrow and wheeled him to the Police Station at Isiokwe, Onitsha.
Unconfirmed report claimed that Chiejina didn’t die on the spot,that while in the wheel barrow, he begged Derico to kill him and not take him to the Police Station alive. Derico then obliged and pumped in one final shot to end the evil reign of one of Nigeria’s meanest Criminals!
On getting to the Police Station, Officers were dancing and celebrating, they lifted Derico up as their Hero and celebrated him as the King Of The Town.
Little did they know that they just crowned a more wicked soul, the King and Protector of Onitsha!
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The rise of Derico as the king of the underworld
After the death of Chiejina, Derico Nwamama became the undisputed Emperor of Terror in the Land. The Entire Anambra State was in soup and the environs will not be spared too!
At some point, Derico Nwamama used the town of Umuleri as his hideout. Then from there, he would issue threatening messages to the police that they will pay for killing members of his gang. He also maintained bases in other towns like Agbor, Benin and Asaba.
The traders in Onitsha could not display their wares with peace while many slept with one eye open. Derico sacked commercial banks in Onitsha,Carting away Millions of Naira
Travellers who had to Pass through the state held their breathes,Expecting the hoodlum to strike anytime.
The then Governor of the State, Chinwoke Mbadinuju,became an old man over night with worries on how to handle the menace of Derico.
Derico was described as the personification of terror. From Nnewi to Nkpor,down to Onitsha,Up to Asaba,From the villages in Umuleri to towns in Ihiala, the old and the young, Men, women and Children were terrified at the mere whisper of Derico Nwamama.
He took over people’s Lands, Businesses, Wives and all his members including members of his family got away with anything because they were related to him!
At that time, he was said to be invisible and could not be arrested. He could disappear Or Vanish with the aid of diabolical charms.
According to reports, Derico Nwamama killed over 200 people including 25 police officers whose lives he mercilessly wasted.
He was a master of countless bus robberies and will not blink twice before pumping his hot lead bullets into the beating hearts of helpless victims.
And after his successful raids, he would boast and declare himself invincible.￼
Derico Nwamama seemed to have placed a lot of faith and confidence in the charms prepared for him by the traditional witch doctors.
In May 2001,the Anambra State Police Command launched Operation Derico which was aimed at capturing Derico & his gangs at all cost.
The Police Managed to arrest some of Derico Nwamama men but he was still elusive as he kept operating with reckless abandon, robbing,Killing & Kidnapping
The fall of Derico and end of his terror
In December of year 2000, Derico and his gang attacked a 59-seater-Luxurious Bus filled to the brim at the Popular Upper Iweka road. The bus was about to leave the pack for Lagos.
After robbing every single person in the bus, they decided to kill everybody on board! Including women and children,and mercilessly, the devil himself (Derico) gave the order and his men shot all the passengers, and left them to dead! (Only 4 survived the ordeal)!
After the incident, the then Governor of Anambra State, Chinwoke Mbadinuju didn’t have any other choice but to bring in the Dreaded Bakassi Boys to help save the State.
On the 3rd of July, 2001, Derico Nwamama was in a bus going from Agbor to Onitsha, on getting to the Onitsha axis of the Bridge Head, The Dreaded Bakassi Boys stopped the bus.
Sensing danger, The Crime Lord Jumped the Window to run away, but before he could make the first after jumping out, the nearest Bakassi member on the scene chopped off his left ear and that was how Derico was captured.￼
After his arrest he started crying and pleading for his life. He was taken to Borromeo Hospital for treatment because he was bleeding profusely.
The Bakassi Boys had developed a terrible and blood chilling reputation for dealing with suspects and Derico’s days were surely numbered from when he was caught.
On 9th July 2001, 6days after Derico Nwamama was captured at the Niger Bridge,the Bakassi Boys did to him what many had earlier predicted.
Chanting war songs,they drove in their convoy around the town and ended at the Ochanja Market Junction along the popular Upper Iweka Road in Onitsha￼
As their buses came to a halt, shouts of excitement and expectation rented the air. Many knew the fate that would befall Derico, so they all trooped to the spot to witness the final judgement on him.
Derico Nwamama was dragged out from the bus, looking gaunt and severely beaten, a trademark of the vigilante group. His body bore cuts and gashes.
Derico Nwamama was in pains but no one seemed to care. Still chanting war songs and egged on by the enchanted crowd, one of the commanders of the Bakassi Boys named Okpompi, addressed the crowd, telling them they were in the state not for politics but to fight crime.
He handed over the microphone to the now trembling Derico who, like a coward, began begging for his life to be spared.
“My name is Oddy, alias Derico, alias Nwa Mama. I appeal to you the people of Anambra State, please don’t kill me, I don’t like evil. It was when I killed Chiejina that people thought I am a strong guy, you know.
I trust Bakassi Boys. They are strong. Please, have mercy on me. Nobody can identify me as having robbed him. People just believe that I am a strong guy.”
What was to follow remains one of the most macabre displays of public executions in Nigeria. With the speed of a guillotine, a cutlass handled in the strong arm of one of the Bakassi Boys flew and came down with an unforgiving thud, landing on Derico’s slim neck. In a flash, Derico was beheaded.
His severed head rolled on the floor before the crowd while his convulsing body collapsed on the ground, with bright-red blood gushing from his carotid arteries. .
He also confessed that he had two other powerful protectors, one being a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly while the other was the chairman of a local government council.