The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a middle-aged man who abducted two siblings and exchanged them for bags of rice.
The suspect, simply identified as Joshua, was said to have abducted the children, aged 13 and 8, who were returning from extra-moral class on Wednesday in the Satellite area of the state.
He, thereafter, exchanged them for two bags of rice in a shop at 63, Marwa Road, near Chemist Bus Stop. According to the police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus who confirmed the incident to Vanguard on Thursday, the suspect, on getting to the shop where he intended to exchange the children, told the sales girl that he would like to take two bags of rice to the mother of the children, whom he claimed owned a restaurant close-by, to ascertain whether the rice was the brand she needed.
The owner of the shop, Mrs. Silverline said “The suspect told my sales girl that the mother of the children needed Indian rice, but my sales girl told him that what we had was Brazilian rice and that it was good, so he made a phone call to someone he claimed was the mother of the children and at the end said he would like to take the bags of rice to the woman.” Silverline said her salesgirl insisted on following him to collect the money for the bags (N40, 000) should the woman agree to buy them.
Speaking further, she said, “The stranger said he would ride on a motorcycle with the bags of rice, while my girl followed with the children on foot, but on reaching the purported restaurant, the owner said she never saw any one with bags of rice, neither did she admit knowing the children. “They walked to Ijegun end of Satellite without any sight of the abductor. “When we asked the children about him, they said that the abductor was not their father,” the shop owner added.
Speaking on the incident, an eyewitness who identified herself as John Ifeoma said that immediately the abductor left with the bags of rice, a man who claimed to be the biological father of the children arrived, alleging that his children could have been hypnotized by the abductor.
Ifeoma added that the man, who claimed to be the biological father of the children, then contacted policemen from Satellite Division, who took everyone involved to the station, from where the children were released to their parents.
The spokesperson said the suspect is in the custody of the police and that investigations were ongoing.