The Nigerian Police have arrested a suspected female kidnapper in Lagos.


The kidnapper

The Nation reports that the female kidnapper was arrested with three toddlers in her possession. The kidnapper and the three children were on an Iddo, Lagos-bound Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) vehicle, and drew the attention of other passengers when she could not pacify the 4-month-old baby who was crying uncontrollably. When passengers told her to breastfeed the baby she was reluctant at first, but when the crying continued she was said to have brought out a feeding bottle containing an orange-colour watery substance, which the baby refused to take.

The woman, identified only as Eno, had in her possession two other children—Happiness Effiong, 4, and her sister, Patience, 2, as well as the baby which is said to be just 4 months old. The passengers were said to have alerted men of Iddo police station, Railway Terminus, who promptly arrested her accomplice, a teenager.

During interrogation, Eno, who initially told the police that she lives at Iyana-Oba, Majidun in Ikorodu, later said she stays at Igando. When she was asked for her husband’s phone number, she claimed she does not know it, adding that she does not have a phone. The teenager, who claimed to be Eno’s sister, was asked to use her own phone to call any of their family members to confirm Eno’s statement.

The unsatisfactory response from their supposed brother, who she called, prompted the police to detain them. Although the suspects insisted Eno was the children’s mother, the oldest of the children, Happiness denied knowing either of them. Happiness said she lives at the Air Force Base, Ikeja, and gave her father’s name as Effiong. She said they were taken from their home by the woman.

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“That woman is not my mother. My name is Happiness. This is my sister Patience. My daddy’s name is Effiong. He is at the Air Force Base. My mother and daddy are in the house. I do not know her (Eno); she is not my mother. And I do not know her,” she said while responding to questions.

Eno again changed her story, saying the children’s father is one Effiong who works as a cleaner at the Air Force Base.

She claimed Happiness rejected her because she was arrested by the Task Force on Environment few months after she gave birth to her, adding that the girl doesn’t really know her.

“They are my children, I am their mother. If you think I am lying, let us go to the Air Force Base and meet their father. I was arrested by former Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola when she (Happiness) was like this baby I am carrying now. Their father signed the paper for Fashola to take me away. It was while I was with Fashola that I gave birth to this one (Patience) and this one I’m carrying now is four months old. I have five children, two with another man and these three with Effiong,” she claimed.

Kidnapping has been a trend in Nigeria for a while now. Just recently, an alleged kidnapper, Gabriel Ogunsawe, who is from Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state, was caught. The national diploma accounting student of Lagos state Polytechnic was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a young child of about four years from Amazing Grace Church in Palm groove area.

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He told on how he was introduced to the kidnapping business and how his two-man gang operated, kidnapping children from various churches every Sunday.

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