Since her son vanished from their home at 22 Okeiho Street in the Dopemu neighborhood of Agege, Lagos, in November of last year, Zainab Ganiyu’s life has not been the same.
Sultan, a six-year-old boy, was abducted on November 1, 2021, around 7:00 p.m. by Chijioke Akuba, a man suspected of trafficking children. Sultan and another boy were playing near their mother’s stall at a nearby market when they were supposedly lured away by popcorn.
Sultan was taken away by the strange woman, while the other boy managed to flee and make it back home.
When the strange woman tried to buy them some candy, “the other boy claimed he escaped from her,” Zainab said.
Thanks to her brother, who noticed that the kids in her care were speaking Yoruba and raised the alarm that resulted in her arrest by the police, the suspected child trafficker who kidnapped Sultan was fortunately exposed in Anambra State in March of this year.
Akuba confessed to stealing some kids while being questioned by the police on camera, some of whom she later sold to an unnamed drug lord. She acknowledged selling her own biological child as well.
She added that she was working with an unnamed woman who she claimed was her boss and the head of a child trafficking ring. She claimed the child she was caught with was taken from the Power Line neighborhood of Oko-Oba in Agege, Lagos.
According to Akuba, she would have received a share of N150,000 from the sale of the child.
When Zainab visited Akuba while she was being held by the police after her arrest, the suspect allegedly recognized Sultan from the photograph as one of the kids she had kidnapped and given to her boss in Anambra State.
Sultan has not been found, despite being one of the kids that Akuba kidnapped in the Agege neighborhood of Oko-Oba.
Sultan’s mother, Zainab, claims that when Akuba was detained by the police and then arrested, she went to see her at the Elere Police Division in Agege. Akuba had been detained there after one of the children she had stolen was found with her in Anambra State.
When Akuba admitted that Sultan was one of the children she trafficked to Anambra State and that her son would soon be found, Zainab claimed that her joy knew no bounds.
“The woman actually admitted that she stole my son and gave him to her boss, who later sold my son to an unidentified person,” Zainab said.
Chika, Chiijioke’s (Akuba’s) accomplice, was detained after being followed to Katankowa Market in Abule Egba (Lagos), where they frequently met to transport kidnapped children to the country’s east.
Zainab was initially happy that the suspects had been caught, but it now looks like her hope of seeing her son again is not likely to come true. This is because the woman who bought Sultan from the suspects and then sold him is still at large, and the family can’t pay the money the police are asking for.
Chijioke and Chika were apprehended by the police after being tracked down, according to Zainab. They were initially held at the Elere Police Division before being transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Lagos Police Command at Panti, Yaba.
“We paid N40,000 for police to track the primary suspect (Akuba), and her accomplice was also detained at Katankowa Market, which they frequently frequented for used clothing and used as a ruse to kidnap and traffic helpless children to the country’s east.”
She and her companion were held for a few weeks before being freed and instructed to return to SCID on a regular basis in order to speak with their boss, who is in charge of my son’s custody.
The matter is now closed because the suspects no longer report to the police as required after being granted bail.
The mother, who couldn’t stop crying, said that her son’s disappearance had hurt both her health and her business because she and her husband didn’t have enough money to pay for their second child’s basic needs, let alone pay for his rescue.
We discovered that the woman who stole Sultan from the suspect had been located in Anambra State, but the police officer in charge of the case said more money was required to go there and arrest the woman.
She claimed that the police officer in charge of the case asserted that separatist agitators and unidentified gunmen were laying siege to the neighborhood where the woman holding their son lives.
The community in Anambra where she was located is a hotbed of unidentified gunmen and Biafra agitators, the police informed us, adding that they would be going on a risky mission to rescue our son from the woman.
“My husband and I have used up all of our savings and even took out loans that we are unable to pay back. Our current problem is that we don’t have a million Naira, which means that if we can’t give the police the money they need, we might never see our son again.
“I’m asking for help from the public so that our son can be found and returned to us safely. Due to the fact that I sold all of my possessions while looking for my son, my husband and I are now penniless.