A devastated mother has narrated how a 15-year-old boy was paid N500 by an Islamic cleric to abduct her three-year-old son for money rituals at the White Sand area of Ijegun, Lagos State.
The woman identified as Mrs. Chinasa Okereke revealed that the teenager, Simon, their next door neighbour, was able to lure her son, Chiagozie, away from home because the victim knew and trusted him.
Simon during interrogation, confessed to police that an Alfa in the community, Kazim (surname withheld), told him to get a three-year-old child. Simon also confessed that after he took Chiagozie to the Alfa, he was given N500 for his pains.
According to Vanguard, when the three-year-old was finally located by detectives from Isheri Police Station, he was already dead. A big stone was found beside his head and a red cloth tied around his neck.
Okereke, who broke down and wept yesterday at her home while speaking with our correspondent, said she was not just grieving for her son, but now scared after three men on motorcycle came to threaten her and her husband, Augustine Okereke. Recalling how Chiagozie was kidnapped and killed, Okereke said that it happened on Tuesday.
The mother of four, who lives in a multi-room building, said that her oldest child was 10, the second eight, the third was the deceased while the fourth was just nine-monthold. The oldest child was not around when Chiagozie was taken.
She explained that on that fateful Tuesday, she brought the children to the front of the house because she wanted to bathe them. Leaving the eight-yearold and Chiagozie outside, she briefly stepped into her apartment to get a wrapper to strap the nine-month-old to her back. When she came out, Chiagozie was nowhere to be found.
When she asked her eight-year-old daughter the whereabouts of her little brother, the girl said that Simon took him away. She said: “When my daughter told me that Simon took Chiagozie, I immediately rushed to their house, but his guardians said they had been looking for him.
When it was getting late, we went to the police station to tell them that Simon took our son and that we couldn’t find him.” Police took over the case and soon located and arrested Simon. He was taken to the station.
Singing like a bird, he revealed how the Alfa came to pick him and Chiagozie with a car. When detectives asked questions around the community, they were told by some residents that they saw the Alfa driving off with Simon and Chiagozie.
The young suspect led police to the scene where the Alfa took him and Chiagozie. Chiagozie’s body was found on the ground. Asked how Chiagozie was killed, Simon said that he saw when the Alfa lifted Chiagozie midair and made some incantations before dropping him to the ground. The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, alleged that the Alfa used the deceased for ritual.
He added that the Alfa and Simon had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos, for further investigations. He said: “Parents should be proactive and know the kind of people they leave their kids with. Parents and guardians shouldn’t allow the economic situation in the country to affect their vigilance and care towards their kids.”