The Police in Imo State has arrested a man, Kingsley Ehiedu, and his wife for allegedly stealing two siblings from Enugu State.
Also arrested was a medical doctor, Innocent Onwudike, of Unity Hospital Awomama in Oru East Local Government Area of the State.
Parading the suspects, the Special Adviser on Media to the state Commissioner of Police, Mike Abatam, said the couple stole the children from their neighbour in Enugu State and ran to Imo State to traffick them to the medical doctor whom he said had been in the business of buying and selling children for a long time.
Abatam said that the suspects were rounded up through inter-command collaboration and the stolen children recovered and were reunited with their family after a press briefing.
The police spokesperson said the arrests were made “in consonance with the mandate given to the operatives of the Command by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba, to fish out all criminal elements in the state and restore normalcy to the state, and in tandem with the determination and directives of the Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Abutu Yaro, to execute this mandate holistically in Imo State.”
He said, “On 19th May 2021 at about 1230hours, one Mr. Ossai Johnson ‘m’ of Ngwo by Phinomar Road in Enugu State reported a case of missing children at the police Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Enugu.
“That his neighbour, one Kingsley Ehiedu ‘M’ of Ngwo Step, Enugu left with his two children namely Ebuka Ossai and Oluomachi Ossai of the same address to Shoprite Enugu to buy them meat pie and ice cream.
“When it became dark and she didn’t see them she had to report to the police. After a preliminary investigation, it was discovered that Kingsley Ehiedu had run away with the two children to Awomama in Oru East LGA of Imo State. Thus, the Imo State Command was contacted and they swung into action.
“In the process, the suspect Kingsley Ehiedu was arrested and his house searched. Recovered from him are as follows: A bag containing the sum of two hundred thousand naira, one Airtel Sim card, nose mask, three different bunches of keys, and six GSM phones.
“When he was interrogated, he confessed to having taken the stolen children to one Dr. Innocent Onwudike of Unity Hospital Awomama in Oru East LGA of lmo State. On getting there, it was discovered that the doctor had taken the two children to his sister’s residence in Owerri after keeping them for two weeks and bargained to pay one million naira for them.
“He later took the police team to his sister residence in Owerri, one Mrs. Ada Precilia Oluaha ‘F’ of No. 27 Ngokpala Street Owerri, Imo State where he hid the two children. The two children were recovered on getting there, including one Ugonma Okerie Ruth, a little girl of four years. An investigation is still in progress to arrest the other members of the syndicate.
“The Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Abutu Yaro, has commended the efforts of the men and urge them to sustain the tempo. He also used this medium to warn all criminals who indulge in kidnapping/trafficking in person to leave the state.”
Ehiedu, who confessed to the crime, told journalists that somebody linked him with the medical doctors he said were into buying and selling children.
The medical doctor who confessed to the crime said that he later refused the offer to sell the children and was keeping the children in the custody of his brother’s wife before the police swooped on him and recovered the children.