The 22years old, whose real name was Okwudili Ndiwe. He was a native of Aguleri in Anambra state.
Okwudili was popularly known as ‘Derico nwamama’. He was a replica of Anini, Oyeanusi, and other ruthless criminals of unblessed memory. While he terrorised the city of Ónitsha, he also held the whole of Anambra state at ransom.
Derico started as a poor street kid, he graduated into picking pockets, and then into a notorious criminal whose name sends shivers down the spines of Anambra people.
Derico was terror personified.
He and his gang, became nightmares to the inhabitants of the southeastern Nigeria. To many, he was invisible and could not be arrested by the police.
Derico nwamama was an expert in bus robberies. He never thinks twice in sending his victims to the great beyond. Derico was ruthless, and heartless. The residents of Onitsha, especially the business men lived in perpetual fear of their lives and properties.
A police officer, once told a heartbreaking story of Derico and his gang.
On the 16th of February 1999, Derico, in company of Chiejina, who aside Derico, happened to be the most dreaded criminal in Anambra state at time, besieged a family at Onitsha. The plan was to carter away with the man’s money. Unfortunately, the man deposited the money they seek in the bank before returning home.
Derico got angry, and grabbed the man’s 4 months old son, threatening to throw him down the three storey building. The man and his wife pleaded dearly for the life of their innocent son, hoping that Derico or any of the members of his gang would show empathy. Derico ran out of patience, and flung the baby from the building, before shooting the man twice in the head.
DERICO AND CHIEJINA’S RELATIONSHIP:
These two were not just friends, they were partners in crime, and they hailed from the same town (Aguleri). Derico and Chiejina and their boys robbed as tag teams. Derico was not based in Anambra, he was based in Abuja as at that time. From Abuja, the federal capital Territory, he comes to rain terror on the inhabitants of Anambra.
Before Derico came into limelight, Chiejina was particularly renowned for being very ruthless, and cold blooded. It was alledged that he forced families into having incestuous relationship, while he watched to his own amusement. Mothers were forced to lay their sons, while fathers were made to have carnal knowledge of their own daughters. Any attempt to resist this absurd request, meant Death.
The relationship between Derico and Chiejina went sour, after they had a disagreement during a meeting held by the youths of Ado Onitsha in order to curb the incessant criminal practices happening in the town. Chiejina refused to back out, he even went ahead to attack some of the youths that graced the meeting. The youths beckoned on Derico to help them in the matter, but it didn’t yield much result, the youths never relented.
They planned with Derico and some brave men of the police force to raid Chiejina and his gang. The operation didn’t really go as planned because Chiejina wasn’t there when his gang members were rounded up and moved to the Central police station, Onitsha.
Chiejina Found out about Derico’s role in the operation that cost him almost all his gang members. He felt betrayed, so he summoned Amobi, his right hand man, who also was his bike man, to take him to Derico’s parent’s humble abode.
Getting to Derico’s family home, he met Derico’s father, who he didn’t waste any time in wasting his life. Decorated the elderly man with series of bullets.
Derico got the scores, and set out for vengeance immediately. He, Derico, ran into Chiejina around Emmanuel church at ugwunokpamba road in Onitsha. He didn’t waste time in giving him a bullet bath, sending the great Chiejina, of the underworld down the gutter…
Derico went further to lift Chiejina into a wheelbarrow, and took him straight to the police station at Isiokwe, Onitsha.
Unverified reports has it that, Chiejina begged Derico on their way to the police station, not to take him there alive. Derico, did him the favour of pumping one last shot into him, thereby easing the southeastern Nigeria from their nightmare.
Getting to the station, the police officers were jubilant, they celebrated Derico as the king and protector of Onitsha town.
Little did they know, that they didn’t just celebrate their own nightmare, but paved way for him carry on his criminal exploits.
The death of Chiejina, was the pacesetter for Derico. In fact, it was the birth of the notorious, and cold blooded Derico Nwamama.
Derico boiled the entire Anambra and its environ like ‘Anam Yam’. It wasn’t funny. He had a hideout in Umuleri, and other states like Benin, and Delta state.
THE FALL OF DERICO!
In one of their operations in December 2000, Derico, and his gang bit more than they could chew.
They raided a 59-seater luxurious bus, filled to the brim. This happened at the popular Upper iweka.
On Derico’s order, all the passengers, were robbed and executed on the spot. Only four persons survived that ordeal.
The then governor of Anambra state, Chinweoke Mbadinauju, out of thirst and hunger to end Derico’s reign, he recruited the dread local security operatives ‘the Bakassi boy’, to help fight insecurity in the state.
On the 3rd of July, 2001, Derico took a commercial bus from agbor, heading to Onitsha. Getting to Onitsha Headbridge, they were stopped by the ruthless Bakassi boys.
Derico sensed danger, and decided to act fast. He jumped out through the window, in his quest to escape, but he wasn’t lucky enough because one of the Bakassi boys was quick enough to chop of his left ear, and the criminal was captured.
Funny enough, the highly dreaded criminal began to cry, and begging for his life. But the vigilante group paid deaf ears to him. Derico was taken to Borremeo hospital for treatment because he was losing a lot of blood.
On the 9th of July, 2001. Exactly six days after Derico was captured. The Bakassi boys drove around town in convoy, chanting war songs till they halted at Ochanja market junction, along upper iweka road.
The Bakassi boys dragged Derico out from the vehicle. His look was nothing to write home about. He looked battered. The Bakassi boys really dealt with him. Pains were written allover him.
One of the commanders of the Bakassi boys vigilante group, by the name Okpompi, addressed the people who came to have a last sight of Derico. He told them that the Bakassi boys were strictly fighting crime, and have no intention to play any sort of politics in the state.
Okpompi hand the microphone over to Derico, who was already trembling. He didn’t waste time in pleading for his life;
“My name is Oddy, alias Derico, alias Nwamama. I appeal to you, the people of Anambra state, please don’t kill me. I don’t like evil, you know, it was after I killed Chiejina that people thought I’m a strong guy.
I trust Bakassi boys, they are strong. Please mercy for me. Nobody can identify me as having robbed him. People just believe that I’m a strong guy.”
Derico further confessed that he was sheltered by a member of the National assembly in Abuja, and another big figure, who he claimed was a local government council chairman.
What followed was a horrifying display of public execution. In a swift and unforgiving manner, one of the Bakassi boys lifted his very sharp cutlass, and sent it flying through Derico’s slim neck. The crowd roared as they watched Derico’s head roll on floor, his body convulsed, and blood pumped out of his severed neck.
The Bakassi boys were not done yet, they sliced the remains of Derico into smaller chunks, assembled them, and set him ablaze. Derico’s pitiable remains was burnt to ashes.
He was just 22years of age. He left behind, no good memories.
“A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.” ;- George R. R. Martin.
Written by Eric Chukwudalu