Okwudili Ndiwe also known as Derico Nwamama is unarguably the king of the underworld in the south-eastern region of Nigeria
According to reports, Derico was a street urchin who grew in a dreaded gang leader, one whose name sent tremor to the hearts of many within the eastern region.
Traders and residents of Onitsha, the commercial capital of Anambra state were the ones who felt his scourge the most.
Reports suggest that Derico Nwamama had killed over 100 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 hapless victims.
There is a legend that after his successful raids, he would boast and declare himself invincible.
Derico seemed to have placed a lot of faith and confidence in the charms prepared for him by the traditional witch doctors.
Prior to his being crowned king of thieves in Anambra, there was a Chiejina who was described as the deadliest armed robber in the whole state.
Derico’s father too was from Aguleri and in no time, the paths of the two met and they became very good friends and colleagues in the armed robbery business.
However, their friendship would not last for long as bloody arguments soon broke out between the two of them over the scope and nature of executing their operations.
Both of them were at the peak of their strengths and they were equally feared all over the region.
The brutality of Derico soon proved too toxic for Chiejina, and during a violent argument over their mode of operation and leadership, Derico blasted Chiejina to an early grave with a volley of bullets.
After the death of Chiejina, Derico became the undisputed emperor of terror in the land.
In May 2001, the Anambra state police command launched the Operation Derico which was aimed at capturing Derico and his gang members at all cost.
Some of Derico’s men were arrested in the police offensive, but Dericoa was still elusive as he kept operating with reckless abandon, robbing, killing and kidnapping innocent Nigerians.
With the police and other security forces unable to bring Derico Nwamama and his terror regime to a close, the onus fell on the Bakassi Boys, the militant wing of the Anambra Vigilante Services (AVS), a local vigilante group set up to curb crime and criminality in the Sout East.
The group also know as the Bakassi Boys, were at the forefront of the hunt and capture of Derico Nwamama. On Tuesday, July 3, 2001, the reportedly invisible Derico was nabbed on his way to Onitsha from Agbor, ostensibly on one of his missions.
Bakassi boys made a great show of Derico’s arrest, parading round Onitsha with rapturous applause, and cheers of the many who for too long had been oppressed.
There were requests by the Nigerian police to have Derico handed into their custody, however, it all proved abortive, as the Bakassi boys served justice to the criminal in their jungle justice style.
Derico was beheaded in an open square, with the Bakassi boys rendering a performance like non had ever seen before within the eastern region where they operated.
N/B: A fraction of this piece was first published on Naij.com by Soonest Nathaniel