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Police arrest Ogun couple for child trafficking

Afeez Hanafi

A man and his wife living on Unity Road, Mosafote, in the Ibafo area of Ogun State, have been taken into police custody for alleged trading in children.

The suspects were identified simply as Morenike and Shittu.

PUNCH Metro learnt that their  neighbours became suspicious a few months ago when the woman would allegedly bring a child home in the evening and took the child away the following day.

She was said to have done so on four occasions before she was caught on Monday with a four-year-old girl, who was reportedly abducted in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Residents identified the landlady of the couple as Habibat Oresanya, sister of Shittu.

It was gathered that neighbours started to closely monitor Morenike after she brought in the four-year-old girl around 9pm on Sunday.

She had strapped the victim to her back and was leaving the neighborhood when a community leader, Chief Toyeeb Balogun, confronted her.

Balogun, who spoke with our correspondent, said he took her to the palace of Baale of Mosafote for questioning.

He said, “People have been saying that Iya Ahmed (Morenike) bring strange children into the community in the evening and take them away the following day.

“On Sunday, October 8, she came home with a girl of about five-year-old. The girl looked malnourished. The next day, she left home with her and did not return with her.

 “After that incident, some neighbours reported to the baale and he told them to monitor her. Around 12pm on Monday, some residents came to tell me that they saw her leaving the community with another girl. I rushed to meet her and asked her who the girl was. She said she was her sister’s child in Egbeda.

“We took her to the palace. When we got there, she told the baale that the girl’s mother is in Ipaja, Lagos State. We then took her to FSARS in Warewa. Her husband came to the station and told the police that she usually brought the girls from Ilorin (Kwara State).

“They asked him what the children were used for, but he said he did not know. Both of them have been detained. This is the fifth time she would be seen with an unknown child.”

The baale, Chief Sakiru Ademuyiwa, said Morenikeji was asked to call the parents of the girl on the telephone to come to the palace.

He explained that he decided to involve the police in the case when the alleged parents did not show up.

Ademuyiwa said, “She called somebody who claimed to be the mother of the girl. The person said she lived in Ipaja. I asked her to come to my palace with the father of the girl. I waited for several hours, but the so-called parents did not show up.

“When she was interrogated by the police, she said the parents of the girl were in Ijebu. But the child told us that she lived with her parents in Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State. She said her father’s name is TK. I have told the police to handle the matter very well.”

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We have been seeing her for some time now with unknown children. We wondered where she got those children from. The landlady does not live in the community,” he added.

The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the arrest, adding that investigation was ongoing.

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