A 50-year-old grandmother, Rita Eze, has been arrested by the police in Lagos for selling a 3-year-old girl to pay her rent.
According to the Punch, Mrs Eze also confessed to the police of being a member of a syndicate allegedly involved in abducting children from Lagos and selling them in Anambra State.
For taking part in the abduction Eze admitted she was paid N40,000 which she used to pay her rent. She was paraded along with one Ogochi Nwekei and Gladys Augustine at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja on Tuesday.
Augustine, connived with one Samuel, who is at large, to abduct the 3-year-old girl, Oluwasemilore Adebiyi, from her parents’ residence in the Alagbado area of Lagos.
Augustine, 28, had enrolled for beads-making apprenticeship at Oluwasemilore’s mother’s shop in January, giving her name as Mary John. She fled to Anambra with the girl seven days after, where she handed the child over to Eze. Oluwasemilore was however, recovered by the police after Augustine was arrested in the Badagry area of Lagos on February 23.
Some parents from different parts of the state had stormed the command and identified Augustine as the abductor of their children, saying the suspect adopted the same gimmick with which Oluwasemilore was abducted.
But Augustine denied abducting other children, saying Samuel had lied to her that he and Oluwasemilore’s mother, Tobiloba Adebiyi, gave birth to the girl, but she (Tobiloba) denied him access to the girl.
“When I took the girl to Samuel, he said I should take her to his mother, Mrs. Eze, in Anambra. He said he would tell the girl’s mother that he was the one who took her. I later returned to Lagos, thinking he had told the woman. I was surprised when the police arrested me.”
50 year old Eze confessed to selling the 3-year-old girl to a certain Elizabeth through Ogochi Nwekei, for N500,000. She also said she took N40,000 from the proceeds, gave Augustine N60,000 and sent the remaining sum to Samuel. She added that she used the money to pay the rent on her apartment.
“I met Samuel in December 2016 at a party in Awka through a secondary school friend, who is an aunt to him. He told me that he impregnated a woman in Lagos and that he would send the child to me to help take care of her. When Gladys (Augustine) brought the girl, Samuel told me to sell her for N500,000.
“I informed Ogochi (Nwekei) and she said one of her friends, Elizabeth, wanted to buy a child. Elizabeth paid N500,000. Samuel told me to give Augustine N50,000 and another N10,000 for her transport back to Lagos, while I got N40,000. I sent the remaining N400,000 to Samuel. I used the money to pay my house rent. I have five children and grandchildren.”