From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State Police Command has announced the rescue of two children and the arrest of three suspects who abducted the children from Lagos to Benin.
The Command gave the identities of the suspects as Precious Mmaduike, ‘F’, (21), Jane Osas, ‘F’, (35) and John Obasu, ‘M’, (45).
They were said to have abducted four-year-old David Ibe and two-year-old Chizaram from Lagos State on August 23, children of one Mr Ibe Phenasus of No 31 Balogun Kuku Street, Aguda, Surulere.
A statement issued by Command spokesman Bello Kontongs said:
‘The abduction was planned and executed by their housemaid, Precious Mmaduike, ‘F’, who used her familiarity with the children as house help and abducted them from Lagos to Benin City, Edo state.
‘According to the complainant who also is the father of the children, he said that, at about 0845hrs, his children were given N500 by his wife to buy biscuit outside the compound in Lagos in the company of their housemaid.
‘They waited for them to return but they were not forthcoming. The phone of the housemaid was switched off, all efforts in search of the children and housemaid proved abortive. That was when the father immediately reported the situation to Aguda Police Station Lagos, where it was discovered that the last location of the housemaid before she switched off her mobile was in Benin City, Edo State.
‘The complainant decided to come to the police in Edo State for assistance. Men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit of Edo State Police Command immediately commenced investigation. With the aid of the information gathered from the origin of the abduction and field assets, the abducted children were rescued on 26/08/2021 at about 1730hrs by the operatives of the Edo State Police Command, Benin City in a very remote area at Upper Ekewan Road, Benin City with the housemaid and a woman she came to visit with the children.
‘The housemaid who met the woman on the internet claimed that the two children belonged to her and they came to Benin City for visit but unknown to the woman that the children are not for her.
‘The woman had bought gift items and other properties for the children and are currently with the police,’ Kontongs narrated.
He further stated that ‘while the operatives were on their way to the state Command in Benin City with the rescued children, the suspects and two other children found in the house, the husband of the woman, one Joseph Obaze, raised the alarm of kidnapping against the police operatives which attracted a group of unknown vigilante members who blocked the road.
‘The police operatives identified themselves to the unknown vigilante group but they went ahead to attack the police operatives with all kinds of weapons, causing bodily injuries to some policemen.
‘Before reinforcement could arrive at the scene, the vigilante group had escaped to an unknown destination. Efforts are in place by the command to apprehend the vigilante leader and his gang members that attacked the police operatives.’
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Philip Ogbadu, has enjoined all law-abiding members of the public to go about their lawful businesses, stressing that the command would not allow miscreants using vigilantism to take over public space.