By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS — Aggrieved youths, weekend, attempted to set a Mobile Policeman’s apartment on Olufowobi Street in Ikosi area of Ketu, Lagos ablaze following the discovery of an eight-year-old missing girl in his room.
The girl identified as Amarachi, who was unconscious, had her hands, legs and mouth tied. She also had a deep cut on her skull when she was rescued.
Vanguard gathered that Amarachi was last seen at about 4pm on Thursday, after going on an errand for the Mobile Policeman identified as Corporal Gbuchenge Augustine, with Force number 400823. The Policeman lives in the same compound with parents of the girl at 1, Olufowobi Street.
But apprehension set in after her father, Mr Patrick Abakwan, returned at about 7.30pm and requested to see his daughter.
Speaking with Vanguard, Abakwan said: “The first person I sought after when I came back was Amarachi. I was told she had gone to sleep. But when I went inside, I did not see her. I only met her mother who was with a visitor.
“At that point, we went outside to look for her in the midst of other children who were playing. One of them told me that olopa (policeman) sent her to buy akara (beans cake).
“One of the children even said he saw olopa carrying my daughter while she was asleep into hi s room. I peeped into Augustine’s room and also placed my mouth on the key hole and shouted my child’s name but there was no response.
“At that point, he came out and said my child was not there. I thereafter, went round the neigbourhood in search of her. When I came back, I was told olopa left the room in anger after my wife confronted him to tell her all he knew about our missing daughter.
“They said he angrily left the compound, saying he was going to report at the station that he was being accused of kidnap.”
“At that point, some curious residents were said to have peeped through the room, where to their amazement, they saw someone bound in both legs and hands, struggling to free herself.
“Policemen from Ketu were reportedly contacted following which the door of the mobile policeman’s apartment was forced open only to find the girl in the pool of her blood.
“When we went inside the room with the policemen, Amarachi’s body was under the bed. Only her legs were outside and she was still struggling slowly to free herself. She could not talk.
“The policeman had twisted her neck and used an object to break her skull thinking she would die in the process but God saved her. We rushed her to Dafe Medical Hospital where they refused to admit her before taking her to the Island General Hospital.”
How I was almost killed— Girl
When Vanguard visited the hospital, Amarachi was seen with a plaster on her head and a neck crest.
According to her, “he first sent me to buy him akara and later recharge card. When I came back, he asked me to wait a while. Later I heard my father calling me. I told him I was going to meet my father and collect what he bought for me from work.
“But he grabbed me and laid me on the floor, saying he would kill me if I shouted. He tied my mouth with a cloth and also tied my neck. He later brought a knife and hit me severalty on the head. That is all I remembered until I woke up and found myself in the hospital.”
Ritual purpose suspected
Residents of the area accused the fleeing Mobile policeman of being a ritualist. Their accusation followed the discovery of several children’s clothes and shoes reportedly found under his bed.
One of the residents said: “He packed into the compound four years ago. Since then, he has always been travelling every time. He has four cars. Most nights, we usually saw him carrying a Ghana Must go into his jeep, only to return at about 4 a.m.
“He just came back from one of the trips on Thursday. We suspect he intended using the girl for ritual because a Ghana must Go bag with which he wanted to put the butchered body was found in the room.”
Contacted, spokeswoman for the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said: “I heard about the wicked act and we have started investigation.
“I have contacted the Commander in charge of Mopol 22 which is where the complainant alleged the suspect is working. The Commander said there was no such name or identity in his squadron.
“Meanwhile, we have sent signals to other police departments and stations to ascertain if this man is actually a serving policeman. The act is inhuman and whoever did that will never go unpunished.”