A suspect who was recently arrested for trafficking two young children, revealed how he somehow managed to lure them away by offering them sweets and fried yam.
According to reports, the man identified as Rolan Egbe, had stolen the children from their parents and handed them over to one of his friends Uche, who ended up selling the children off to two women identified as Chioma Ohajimadu and Mrs. Comfort Ogbonnaya who reside at No. 69, Osusu road, Aba.
Trying to defend himself, Egbe who claims to be a ticket seller at Oyigbo, River state, said Uche had introduced him to trafficking. He said:
“One evening, about two weeks ago, I went to eat at Oyigbo roundabout, Uche started calling me repeatedly to get the child he told me to bring. But I told him that I know the parents of the child I wanted to bring to him and I don’t want to hurt them. However, he insisted that I should bring the child. After speaking with him, I asked him to come around and wait for me. Then I went to where the children normally gather to play around the area because the little boy, Marvellous Heart, normally comes to me each time I am around his mother’s shop.
When he saw me that evening, he ran to me and l bought sweets for him; from there, I carried him and met Uche, who was waiting for me at a distance. That was how we took the boy to Aba. He gave me N50,000 only and promised to pay me the balance later. After some days, the woman that bought the boy started calling me to complain that she doesn’t want the boy again, that we should bring another child for her. That was how Uche forced me to go and steal another child for the woman.
The second time, I saw some children around a spot where they sell fried yam around Imo River and bought some fried yam for them. When I was leaving, I left with one of them.”
Sharing his own side of the story, Mr Shedrach Heart, the father of the boy, said the incident was reported to the Obehie police station after which he had gone to church for prayers and had gotten the assurance that his child would be returned to him alive. He said:
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“Roland has been our family friend, any time he comes around to play lotto around my wife’s shop, my child normally runs to him and the two of them will stay together until he leaves. On that fateful day, my boy ran to him and he carried him to buy something for him. From there, he took him away.”
Confessing to her crime, Chioma Ohajimadu who adopted the stolen children, said she indulged in the act because she couldn't afford to go through normal adoption processes to get a child. She said:
“I’m a widow with a son of about 17-years-old. But I needed another baby in my family. The Uche in question was my primary school student.When we met at Aba, he told me he works with the motherless baby’s home and I informed him that I needed to adopt a baby and I have gone round, but the price they were giving me was exorbitant.
He promised to help me out since he works with them. So, about two weeks ago, on the 18th of November, he called to inform me that he has got the baby for me. He brought the boy to my house with Roland. I spent one night with the baby and found out that he was too rough for my liking. So, I called him to come and take the baby and get another one that will be calm for me. But he said he can’t take back the boy again, that he finished the registration of his adoption at the motherless baby’s home.
That was why I called a woman that works at another motherless baby’s home and asked her if she knows of any woman that needs a child and she said yes and asked her to bring the woman to take the boy they brought for me because I don’t want him again. She asked me to bring the child and she then invited Comfort Ogbonnaya to take the boy, it was in the process of adopting the second baby that I was arrested by the police.”
While parading the suspects at the police officers mess in Umuahia, the Abia state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeleye Oyebade, said Egbe had earlier been arrested for child trafficking on December 7, before the stolen boy was recovered by men of the Special Anti-Robbery squad. He also went ahead to advice parents to monitor their children closely especially in this festive period.