BY ONOZURE DANIA
LAGOS — A 32-year-old bus conductor, Sunday Thomas, has been arraigned before a Lagos chief magistrate’s court, sitting at Ebute-Meta for allegedly kidnapping his neighbour’s four-year-old daughter.
The bus conductor and others, now at large, were said to have conspired to abduct his neighbour’s daughter, Favour Anani.
The defendant, arraigned before Magistrate A. Demi-Ajayi, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnap, preferred against him by the Police.
Thomas, an Ibibio from Akwa Ibom State, was alleged to have committed the offence May 26 at about 4 a.m., at their residence, 8, Yahaya Street, Shasha, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Etim Nkankuk, told the court that the mother of the girl, Joy Anani, a Togolese, had informed the Police that she suspected the defendant because he had been telling her that he liked the girl and that one day he would take her away.
He said she had also informed the Police that on the day that her daughter got missing, the defendant came home with his friend, named Daniel, who gave the missing girl, alongside other children in the house N20 to buy biscuits, only to wake up at about the time of the incident to discover that the window net had been cut while the little girl could not be traced.
Nkankuk further added that she later reported the matter at a police station in the area, which resulted in the arrest of the defendant while his friend, Daniel, could not be found.
According to the prosecutor, the offences are punishable under Sections 231 and 275 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.
The conductor, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Magistrate Demi-Ajayi admitted him to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two responsible sureties in like sum.
The sureties, according to the magistrate, must show evidence of three-year tax payment to the Lagos State Government, have their addresses verified and deposit N25,000 to the designated account of the Chief Registrar of the court.
She adjourned the matter till August 4 for mention.