A desperate mother, Zainab Ganiu has implored Nigerians to assist her in raising the sum of N1.5million, to give to personnel of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos State to track and retrieve her missing son.
The boy, Sultan, was five years old when he was stolen on the 1st of November 2021 by a woman, later believed to be one Chijioke.
According to Sultan’s mother, police told her that she needed to cough up #1.5m which they needed to track the leader of a human trafficking ring, identified as Mr. Chidi, who is alleged to be in possession of the boy.
Zainab, a trader and mother of three, said that her husband is a bus driver and that they did not have such an amount of money.
According to her, she was almost giving up hope on ever finding Sultan, when suddenly on 20th March, while watching MITV, she saw a female human trafficker, Chijioke, confessing to how she used to steal children from Lagos State and then move them to Anambra State to sell.
During that television segment, Zainab learned that the police rescued one Fatima from Chijioke.
Sultan’s Mother narrated: “My son, Sultan was stolen on the 1st of November 2021 at Dopemu area of Lagos State. He is my second child. He should be six years now. He used to play with our neighbour’s children at Dopemu, Agege. On that fateful day, he was playing with eight years old Rejoice in front of her mom’s shop when the incident happened. In fact, Rejoice’s mom sent her to go and buy sachet water and my son followed her. As they were returning, Chijioke blocked and asked them to come, that she wanted to buy popcorn for them.
“When they got there, the popcorn seller was not around, the woman carried my son, while Rejoice ran home to tell me that a woman had carried my son and left. That was how I started looking for Sultan till date.”
Zainab, mother of missing Sultan said that when she saw Chijioke on MITV, she quickly grabbed a picture of Sultan and dashed to Elere Police Station, where the suspect was being held.
“On 20th March this year, I saw a lady on MITV, arrested for child theft. According to her confession, she used to come to Lagos State, to steal children and return to Anambra State to sell them. Police had just recovered a girl named Fatima from her at Nnewi in Anambra State. She was detained at Elere Police Station, Pen Cinema. I ran to the police station with my son’s picture. I begged the police to show her the picture, maybe Sultan was among the children she had stolen and taken to Anambra State. She immediately recognised Sultan and admitted having taken him to Anambra State last December.” The frustrated mother narrated further.
Detectives at Elere Police Station later transferred the case to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (SCIID), Yaba, Lagos State. Zainab said that when they got to the SCIID, the suspect opened more cans of worms, mentioning the names of members of the syndicate.
“She mentioned a particular name, Chika, whom the police went after and arrested. Another name, Mr. Chidi was also mentioned, who Chijioke said was the leader of the human trafficking syndicate. Police collected N40,000 from me for the tracking of Mr. Chidi. His phone line was tracked, and police said that he was in the Nnewi part of Anambra State. Police said that I should go and raise N1.5m so that they could further track the ringleader to Nnewi to arrest him. The matter is being handled by D10 Section at SCIID. Our first Investigating Police Officer (IPO) is Mr. Roger, but he had been transferred out of D10. Our current IPO is Mosun. She is aware of the N1.5m demand, which I would have quickly given to them if I had such an amount. We don’t have such an amount of money, which is why I am begging Nigerians to come to our aid. We don’t know what else to do. We are desperate,” cried Zainab.
The Executive Director of Esther Child Rights Foundation, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, a human rights activist, who is assisting Sultan’s mother to ensure police locate and rescue Sultan, implored the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, and the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba to investigate the case of Sultan’s mother and follow up to find and rescue her missing son.
She added: “I am worried about this country. People are no longer safe. There is no security and there is a lot of kidnapping. How can a child come out to play and someone stole him since November to date? The child is nowhere to be found. I have looked at the parents of that child, they don’t have money and yet police are asking for N1.5m. The poor in Nigeria cannot get justice. My greatest concern is that police arrested two women who are involved in this kind of crime and still released them. The police did this knowing that the child had not been found. This shows that only the rich can get justice in Nigeria. Zainab sells under the bridge; how and where will she get N1.5m?”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, told our correspondent that he has no new update on the incident
Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.