Punch Metro reports that a two-year-old girl, who was stolen by a trafficking syndicate, has been rescued by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Lagos State Police Command.
The victim, who was sold for N300,000 to a buyer in Delta State, was reportedly resold to another member of the syndicate in Anambra State, who resold her to a woman in Enugu State.
A police source said the child’s mother, who lived on Oluwale Street, Olodi Apapa, Lagos, had handed her over to some relatives while going out.
He said, “The relatives were careless with the child and they did not know when she was stolen by members of the syndicate.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident, said the victim’s father petitioned the police over the matter.
He said, “On May 1, 2018, the command received a complaint from one Nwoagbo Ekene that on the same date, around 11am, his two-year-old daughter suddenly disappeared and all efforts to trace her whereabouts had proven abortive.
“Based on his complaint, the Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi, directed the Officer-in-Charge of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, SP Musa Bulus, to use all the assets at his disposal to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of the little girl.
“Consequently, investigation was instituted and in the course of it, one Ms. Joy Okoye, 28, of No.64 Kirikiri Street, Olodi Apapa, was arrested in connection with the case.
“On interrogation, the suspect revealed that she and one Amarachi , who is still at large, stole the child and sold her for N300,000 to one Miss Uju Obieze, 40, of Okwe Road, Asaba, Delta State.”
Oti noted that the police proceeded to Asaba and apprehended Obieze on September 13, 2018, adding that the suspect, who confessed to buying the child, said she had also resold her.
“Obieze confessed to have bought the child from Joy Okoye, but added that the deal was done jointly with one Ifeyinwa Ezene, 46, of Eze Bishop Street, Onitsha, Anambra State.
“Ezene was apprehended and she confessed to the crime by corroborating the statements of the other two suspects. She added that the child had been resold to one Ifeoma Okoye, who lives in Enugu,” the police spokesperson added.
However, when all the suspects were taken to Okoye’s residence on Amaechi Street, Agbani Road, Enugu, she was said to have died.
A crowd of mourners reportedly said Okoye died a week earlier and her remains were in a mortuary.
The police spokesperson said while the victim was rescued from the house and reunited with her parents, the three suspects were returned to Lagos for prosecution.
Oti said the three women would be charged to court on Wednesday (today).