By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Detectives of Edo State Police Command on Saturday rescued in Benin two siblings, suspected to have been stolen in Lagos State, on 23 August, 2021.
The operatives also arrested three suspects, Precious Mmaduike ‘F’ (21), Jane Osas ‘F’ (35) and John Obasu (45), in connection with the theft of the children.
The stolen kids, David Ibe ‘M’ (4 years) and Chizaram Ibe ‘F’ (2 years) were children of Mr. Phenasus Ibe, of Balogun Kuku Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos State.
According to a statement by the spokesman of the Command, SP Kontongs Bello, the theft of the children was executed by Ibe’s housemaid, Precious Mmaduike.
It was gathered that on the fateful day, at about 8.45 am, mother of the children, gave them N500, to buy biscuit outside the compound in Lagos, in company of the housemaid.
But the children and the housemaid did not return.
All efforts in search of the children and the housemaid proved abortive, as her phone was switched off.
“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, the children are not for her.
The woman had bought gifts for the children, who are currently with the police,” the statement said.
It was however gathered that while the police 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 alarm of kidnapping against the police operatives.
The alarm attracted a group of “unknown vigilante” members who blocked the road.
Even after the Police operatives identified themselves, the “unknown vigilante” group reportedly went ahead to attack the police operatives with all kinds of weapons, causing bodily injuries to some policemen.
The hoodlums later escaped before police reinforcement could arrive at the scene.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, assured that efforts are in place to apprehend the fleeing vigilante leader and his gang members that attacked the police operatives
He enjoined all law abiding members of the public to go about their lawful businesses, noting that the Command will not allow miscreants in the name of vigilante group to take over the public space.
Ogbadu enjoined the public to continue to provide useful information to the police about criminals and their activities, to help them achieve the mandate of protecting lives and properties.