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Woman steals 2-yr-old girl, says took her to replace own missing child

By Esther Onyegbula & Victor Arji

A 35-year-old lady, Jumoke Adesida, arrested by Lagos State Police Command for allegedly kidnapping two-year-old, Roqibat Raji, has said she committed the crime because her only child was taken away from her at a church programme.

Lagos State Police boss, Imohimi Edgal

Speaking at the parade of the suspect and others in Lagos yesterday, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, said: “On June 22, one Aminat Abidoye of 12, Kassim Adeboye Street, Jerry Farm, Odongunyan, reported to the Police that her two-year-old daughter was missing.

“Immediately, I ordered the Anti-Kidnap Squad to deploy all its necessary assets in ensuring that the victim was rescued and the suspect arrested.

“The community policing structure, which had been put in place, led the Police to a village at Odokekere in Ogun State, where the suspect was arrested and Raji rescued.

Suspect’s account

Telling her story, the suspect said: “While I was walking, I noticed that the child was following me. So I carried her to my house in Ogun State.

“I didn’t change her name; I took care of her, fed her properly when she was with me.

“I took the child because my child went missing at a church camp programme. I wasn’t feeling too well so I didn’t know who took my child away from me.”

The Commissioner of Police, Edgal, also said the policemen attached to the Iju Police Division rescued one Balarabe from five suspected kidnappers, who claimed to be members of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC.

His words: “The suspects allegedly abducted their victim from a shop at Alausa, Ikeja, to a location in Iju, where they extorted him.

“He was rescued and the suspects were arrested following a distress call.”

Denying the allegation, one of the suspects, Owen Onazurulike, said: “I am not a kidnapper and the allegation made by the victim against me is false.

“I went to Alausa to buy a phone and met Bala, victim, who has been owing me N180,000 since last year. When I asked him for my money, he pleaded with me to be patient, saying he just left the Police cell and has issue with the EFCC.

“ I asked him to give me his phone. My friend’s younger brother arrived and, on seeing Bala, said Bala owes his brother some money also.

“He drove away and returned with these men (pointing to the other suspects) and said they are members of the OPC.

“I thought they were police officers, so I pleaded with them that I didn’t want any issue. But they demanded I give them N10,000, which I didn’t have. So they took Bala away.”

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