A suspected child abductor, Ola Ibikunle, has been arrested by the police after he was caught with a four-year-old girl in the Oyero area of Ijoko, Ogun State.
It was learnt that Ibikunle, a bricklayer, had held his victim, Eniola, by the neck and was about to strangle her in an uncompleted building when he was caught by passersby.
The suspect, who confessed to have stolen a three-year-old boy and sold him for N1,500, was later handed over to operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Agbado Police Division.
Punch Metro gathered that Eniola and her 11-year-old sister, Opeyemi, were following their father, Segun Quadri, to a church in Ijoko around 2pm on Tuesday. The father was said to have gone some distance ahead when the suspect ambushed the children and abducted Eniola.
The victim’s sister, Opeyemi, reportedly raised the alarm which caught the attention of some passersby. The suspect was reportedly met in an uncompleted building while trying to strangle the girl.
An angry mob had beaten him up before the police arrived at the scene. Ibikunle, who hails from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, told a Punch correspondent that Eniola was his second victim. The suspect, who spoke in Yoruba, confessed to have stolen a three-year-old boy around the Ijoko area sometime in June and sold him to a man in the Sango area for N1,500.
He said, “I am a bricklayer, but I use child abduction to augment my wages. A man in the Sango area contracted me to always get children for him. I don’t know what he uses them for. Last month, I abducted a boy of about three years and sold him to the man for N1,500.
“This girl (Eniola) was the second child I would abduct, but I did not succeed.”
The victim’s father, Segun, said he and the children were already late for a church programme on that day which made him to walk faster than them.
He said, “The incident happened around 1pm on Tuesday. We had a programme in our church and we were late. Since Opeyemi is older, I thought they should be able to find their way to the church.
“I had gone some distance ahead when some people called me that Opeyemi said her younger sister had been abducted. She said the abductor escaped with Eniola to an uncompleted building and she led us there. We met him holding her by the neck.”
A police source told Punch correspondent that efforts were being made to apprehend the buyer of the abducted children.
“The suspect has confessed to the crime and he stated that he sells his victims to a man in the Sango area. But he has yet to mention the name of the kingpin. Some operatives followed him to the area twice, but he did not lead them to the man’s house. We are going to ensure that we track him down,” the source said.
The Ogun State acting Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the suspect would be further investigated.
He said, “It is a case of suspected child stealing. The police were able to arrest the suspect with the help of residents. The Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, has directed that the suspect should be transferred to the command headquarters for a thorough investigation.”