The suspect, one Mary Vera Henry, was intercepted by detectives, led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mary Ubangha, a Chief Superintendent of Police, when she was trying to escape with the kids.
Lagos police boss, Imohimi Edgal, told newsmen that the case of Vera and another incident involving a pastor is a clarion call for parents and guardians to be more vigilant over their children as sexual predators and kidnappers are on the rise.
According to the Commissioner of Police, “today at about 10:30a.m. at Little Road, Sabo, Yaba, the DPO, Sabo Division, CSP Mary Ubangha, while on observation patrol of her area spotted a middleaged woman with two little children along Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba. The DPO observed the woman’s worried countenance and felt that something was amiss; so she decided to trail her.
“However, the suspect noticed that she was under surveillance and diverted into St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba. The DPO followed her up and warned the church security men to keep an eye on the woman and never allow her exit the church without the police ascertaining their identities and mission to the church. The security men obliged and brought the woman and the children before the DPO.
“During interrogation, the woman gave her name as Mary Vera Henry of No. 6, Akanni Street, Shomolu. It was discovered that she was not the biological mother of the children who are of different parents. The names of the children are Mukaila Ya’u, male and aged 10, and Mariam Jubril, female, aged two.
“She claimed that she lost her 20-year-old daughter whom soothsayers told her had been reduced in size and stature to a 2-year-old child and that the 2-year-old child looked exactly like her missing 20-year-old daughter. The woman was arrested and taken to the station for further interrogation. At the station, the biological parents of the children surfaced and gave their names as Jubril Garba who is the father of the two-year-old girl and Mukaila Amidu, father of the 10-year-old boy.
“Amidu told the police that he sent his son on an errand and as he was going the two-year-old accompanied him unknown to her parent. However, along the road the suspect lured the children away from their course to an unknown destination. Investigation into the case is ongoing and effort is on to arrest the fleeing brother of the suspect believed to be a co-conspirator of the crime,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kayode Oni, Financial Secretary of the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was kidnapped by gunmen, has regained his freedom. The party announced yesterday that Oni had regained his freedom.
Oni was abducted on Saturday, April 29 at a location between Efon Alaaye and Erio Ekiti while on his way to Aramoko, the headquarters of Ekiti West Local Government Area of the state. The PDP chieftain was returning from Efon Alaaye where he had officiated at the party’s local government congress.
His abductors initially demanded a ransom of N30 million as the price for his freedom, before allegedly reducing the bill to N10 million.
Spokesman of the party in the state, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, while confirming the release of Oni to journalists on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, said the victim was hale and hearty. He disclosed that Oni was set free by his abductors late Tuesday night.
He, however, was silent on whether any ransom was eventually paid by the party or the victim’s family before securing his release from the kidnappers’ den.
A police source in the state also confirmed the release, saying the police were still investigating the matter.