The joy of Mr. Charles Agbezin and his wife, Idowu, knew no bound on Sunday when their one year seven-month old girl, Princess Omotola Agbezin, was found hale and hearty at Shasha, Akowonjo, a suburb of Lagos, South West Nigeria where he was dumped by kidnappers.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the little girl was released after her parents paid N100,000 ransom demanded by the kidnapper who is still at large.
The parents of the girl disclosed that she went missing last Wednesday at their salon located at Ijeh Police Barracks, Obalende around 9 p.m. when a regular female customer identified as Mama Joy allegedly took her away.
The woman was said to have told the mother that she wanted to make her hair and acting under that pretence took the baby away while the mother was sweeping.
Narrating how her child was kidnapped to P.M.NEWS, Mrs. Idowu Agbezin said: â€œThe woman who stole my child introduced herself to me as Mama Joy. She has been my customer for the past one year. She always come to my shop to retouch her hair and at times come to say hello to me.
â€œOn the day of the incident, she came as usual and I entertained her with a mineral and biscuits, thinking she came to retouch her hair. Later, she went to my husband’s shop nearby and started playing with my daughter. She brought her to my shop, but because I was sweeping my shop, I told her to return her to my husbandâ€™s shop. That was how she disappeared with her and we started looking for her without success.
“We reported the matter at the Dolphin Police Station and the police commenced investigation.”
On how they found the child, Charles Agbezin told P.M.NEWS that “Mama Joy used a different mobile number to text a message to us that our child is fine, that she is a kidnapper and that we should pay N300,000 before she can be released to us.
“We started begging and bargaining with her but she told us that if we refused to pay the money on time, she would kill the child and that they donâ€™t normally return kidnapped children to their parents, but because the mother of the child had been nice to her, she agreed to collect N100,000.
“She warned us not to call the police and directed that we drop the money beside an abandoned car beside a hotel on Salami Street, Shasha. After we dropped the money, she called us again to go to the next street to collect our baby.
“Before we got there, some residents have rescued my daughter who was abandoned in the middle of the road by the kidnapper. Some of the residents who noticed our strange movements confronted us and we told them our story. They brought out the child and told us how they saw her crying on the street and rescued her.
”They did not release her until policemen from the Dolphin Estate Station, Ikoyi, came to Shasha to confirm the development.
â€œI thank the police and members of the public for their assistance. I am now calling on security operatives to beam their searchlight on Shasha area and smash the kidnapping ring operating there because while I was negotiating with the female kidnapper, I overheard children crying on the phone, which means she has many kidnapped children in her custody.”
â€” Paul Iyoghojie