Within one month, three year old Oluwasemilore, who was abducted by her mother’s apprentice was sold and re-sold four times.
Her mother Tobiloba, told PUNCH that the apprentice, Gladys Austin who initially gave her name as Mary John, perpetrated the crime, adding that she (Glafys) had only spent about a week with her before carrying out the act.
Tobiloba said she reported the case at the Alagbado division, who then transferred the case to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
FSARS launched a manhunt for the suspect, and she was finally arrested in Badagry, Lagos, where she confessed to abducting the child.
“After she was arrested in Badagry, she said she had been paid N60,000 for the job before coming to my house and she had planned to kidnap my two children. But she couldn’t because I had said if she didn’t come with a guarantor by Monday, she should not come to work.
She said after she kidnapped Oluwasemilore, she left for Anambra by a bus the same day, and she sold her to an elderly woman, telling the woman that my daughter belonged to a prostitute who wanted to get rid of the girl.
The woman buys new babies and resells to families without children. The policemen asked her to call the woman that she had another child to sell. When she did, the woman asked her if it was a ‘trouser’ or ‘skirt’, which was a code name for a boy or girl. We decided to give her my son as bait,” Tobiloba said.
Tobiloba added that Gladys and the woman agreed to meet at a bus stop in Onitsha where she’ll buy her son for N500,000.
Tobiloba said undercover officers posed as evangelists and bank customers at the bus stop.
“As she got there, the police started shooting and she wanted to run, but she was quickly arrested. She didn’t want to cooperate initially, but when she was drilled, she opened up and said she resold the child to another woman,” Tobiloba said.
It was later discovered that the child had been sold to another person in Awka, the Anambra state capital, who then resold her to another woman in the same state.
According to Tobiloba, the people who bought her daughter resold her because they were attacked by a strange illness.
“Those people said when the child got to them, they became sick and their business started failing. Within one month, my child had been sold to four different families.
The fourth woman was wealthy and despite falling sick, she decided to keep her. She handed her over to a relative while she was in a hospital. The child had been enrolled in a new school.
When we called and disguised as if we wanted to buy the child, she said she was not selling the child, adding that the money she bought her was huge,” the victim’s mother said.
Police officers later offered to buy Oluwasemilore from the woman for N500,000, and the suspect told them she’ll drop the child beside a church.
The suspect was said to have arranged some armed thugs who positioned themselves around the area.
“On getting there, they brought the child in a Tundura Jeep. When some of the policemen alighted from our own vehicle to pick her, they opened fire on us because they didn’t see any money. The policemen replied the fire and they all ran, but we were able to get the child safely. Four suspects were arrested,” Tobiloba said.