By Evelyn Usman and Victor Akpa-Fresh
THE hydra-headed monster called kidnaping may have taken a new dimension with the recent arrest of a 43 year-old man identified as Emmanuel Akpan in whose custody were two little girls aged 12 and 11 respectively.
Surprisingly, one of the victims simply identified as Happiness, was discovered to have been abducted from her parents in Ika South East area, Edo state, three years ago. After her abduction, her parents waited to no avail for a possible telephone call as is usual of kidnappers demanding for ransom. But their hope was dashed after an endless wait for their twelve- year- old daughter’s return.
Unknown to them , Happiness’ abductor, Emmanuel Akpan from Akwa-Ibom state, kept her hostage around Ikpoba Hill, Benin the Edo state capital where he had been having carnal knowledge of her until the bubble burst recently.
Today, Happiness is fifteen years. But she could not utter a word when approached, as she merely stared as if to suggest that she may have been hypnotized. At a point, she only beamed a smile and mentioned her name.,without further comment.
Not yet satisfied with his lust for teenage girls, Emmanuel, reportedly abducted another eleven year girl identified as Miracle from Benin, the Edo state capital six months ago. Immediately he effected the crime, he left his base and made straight for Lagos with the two girls.
In order to keep his sinister motive secret, he changed Miracle’s name to Cynthia. But the name Miracle seemed to have worked true to type as Emmanuel was rounded up in his hideout , a shanty in abattoir in Agege area of Lagos last Tuesday by some policemen.
Reports say Police detectives stormed the area at about 9am, where they met the two hapless girls. Just as the plain- clothe policemen were questioning them, Emmanuel walked in with a plate of mama put food inside a polythene bag. After identifying themselves, Emmanuel reportedly told the operatives that the teenagers were his younger sisters. But when Miracle’s father who had been searching for his daughter surfaced, Emmanuel owned up, revealing that his abduction of Miracle was a revengeful action.
According to him, “ I have been going out with Miracle’s elder sister for some time now. Later , I decided to marry her and started buying her things. All the while she told me her father was aware of the relationship. But when I informed her father of my intension to marry his older daughter, he told me point blank that he would not accept me as a son-in-law.
I was so bitter because I had spent so much on his daughter. I asked them why they did not tell me at the initial stage rather than allowing me to spend so much”
Asked how much he spent so far and he he replied, “ I think I must have spent nothing less than N6,000”
Explaining his kidnap plans Emmanuel said, “ I then decided to kidnap Miracle , so as to punish her parents for the money they made me spent on their daughter. Then the d-day arrived when I sighted Miracle going to buy something. I followed her and asked her to come with me which she did willingly. I then ran to a friend to borrow some money to travel to Lagos. That was how I came to Lagos”
He added however that he never had a carnal knowledge of Miracle.
On how he abducted Happiness the older girl, he said she followed him wittingly. Asked whether her parents were aware of her decision to follow him ‘willingly’, he said no. And when asked further whether happiness had ever contacted any member of her family since she was abducted ; he said no. Meanwhile , it was gathered that Happiness sudden disappearance was reported all over police divisions in Ika South East.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Samuel Jinadu who paraded the suspect before newsmen, said efforts were still on to locate Happiness’ parents, informing that the Akwa-Ibom state born suspect would be charged to court. Reminding kidnappers that Lagos was a no go area for them, Jinadu assured that the command had put necessary machineries in place to curb the menace in the state.