A syndicate that specialises in stealing and selling children has been uncovered by the police in Lagos State.
Three suspected members of the gang identified as Joy Okoye, 28; Uju Obieze, 40; and Ifeyinwa Ezene, 46, were arrested in Lagos, Delta and Anambra states respectively, while their victim, a two-year-old baby was recovered at Enugu State at the residence of one Ifeoma Okoye, said to be deceased.
It was gathered that the child went missing on May 1 at her parent’s No. 27, Test Oluwale Street, Olodi Apapa residence.
The child’s father, Ekene Nwoagbo, was said to have filed a complaint on her disappearance at the police station, which prompted the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, to direct the Anti-Kidnapping unit to take charge of the case.
Preliminary investigation, it was gathered, indicted Okoye, a resident of 64, Kirikiri Street, Olodi Apapa, who confessed to the crime, adding that she connived with one Amarachi, still at large, to sell the baby.
Okoye, it was learnt told detectives they sold the kid for N300,000 to Obieze, a resident of 8, Okwe Road, Asaba, Delta State.
Consequently, the command mobilised detectives to Asaba and Obieze was arrested on September 13.
She allegedly confessed that she bought the baby in collaboration with Ezene of 2, Eze Bishop Street, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Upon her arrest, Ezene, it was gathered, led the police on September 14, to 40, Amaechi Street off Agbani Road, Enugu, said to be the residence of Okoye, whom they resold the child to.
Policemen were however told at the address that Okoye died the previous week though the child was recovered from her relatives.
Confirming the incident, police spokesman, Chike Oti, a Chief Superintendent (CSP), said Okoye’s relatives were mourning her death at the time detectives arrived her home.
He said: “The little girl has since been reunited with her parents. The suspects will be charged to court on Wednesday (today).”
Meanwhile, peace may have returned to Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas of Akwa Ibom State as over 100 cultists belonging to various groups have surrendered their arms to the police.
The development, which is part of the state government’s move towards granting amnesty to the hoodlums who have terrorizing the council areas, saw them renouncing their membership of the cult groups.
The Commissioner for Police, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, who paraded the suspects before Governor Udom Emmanuel during a
reconciliation and rehabilitation visit to the local government areas yesterday, said this was the fourth time the governor visited the areas for a peace-seeking mission.
Ogunjemilusi appreciated the governor’s amnesty to the repentant cultists despite the various atrocities committed by them.
Governor Emmanuel, while addressing the hoodlums, blamed the underdevelopment currently witnessed in the Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo on their activities, stating that no contractor would be willing to work in areas where there is no peace.
The governor cited an instance where he wanted to bring a World Bank project to the Ukanafun but the contractors chose somewhere else instead because of the activities of cultists in the area.