A kidnap suspect has claimed she didn’t receive any payment for all the six children she abducted and handed over to her boyfriend, saying she believes he used dark powers to make her commit the crimes.
The suspected child abductor, 28-year-old Joy Esu, was arrested alongside other suspects in Osogbo, where they were also paraded on Thursday.
In addition to Joy Esu, the Osun State Police Command also arrested a Reverend Father who claimed to be a parish priest at Our Lady of Fatima Woliwo, Onitsha, in Anambra State, Rev. Father Chike Ejiofor.
He was alleged to have been involved in the stealing of 18-month-old baby boy, Abdulahi Azeez, in Osogbo, Osun State.
The Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, who led other officers at the parade of the suspects at the Police Headquarters in Osogbo on Thursday, commended his offices and men for nabbing the suspects.
Joy Esu said she approached Abdulahi’s mother at her shop and pretended to want to learn tailoring, noting that the unsuspecting woman accepted.
However, Joy absconded with the baby on February 18 when his mother went to the market.
Joy said she handed the baby to her boyfriend, Sidney Onwuka; who reportedly sold him to Maxwell Agu, who claimed to operate a government-approved orphanage at Orlu in Imo State.
Joy said she did know if her boyfriend used charms to manipulate her to carry out anything he told her; swearing that Onwuka has never paid her any money, even after she had handed over to him six children, all of whom he had allegedly sold.
She said, “He (Onwuka) always sent me to go and do anything and I would go without hesitation.
“I even sold my daughter to him, but he didn’t give me ordinary N5.”
Onwuka also claimed that he had sold six babies — including his own child — to Agu, and that Agu paid him N200,000 for his own child.
Rev. Father Chike Ejiofor allegedly became involved when Elizabeth, a member of the parish, reportedly contacted him to help her when she wanted to adopt a male child.
During an interview with journalists, Ejiofor said he had no evil intention when he contacted the orphanage owner, Agu, noting that the overall driving force was to be of help to the desperate woman.
Ejiofor said, “This woman, Elizabeth, met me after Adoration and said she wanted to adopt a male child.
“I contacted Maxwell (Agu) because I know that he has an orphanage home and he brought a form of adoption.
“He later brought the baby to our parish, together with Joy. I called Elizabeth and she said she liked the baby boy.
“The woman handed N750,000 to me and I gave it to Maxwell.
“He (Maxwell Agu) said she must pay additional N50,000 and I asked what the money was meant for. He said it was for the processing of adoption papers and certificate.
“I called him later after the payment had been made, but Maxwell said the certificate was not ready.
“I wanted to help the lady and that was what I was after, because people came to me for help and I helped them.
“I am in shock now. This is my 32nd year in the ministry, but look at how I crashed.
“I asked Maxwell why he did this to me. My hands, legs and entire body are in the trap now. How do I extricate myself from the trap?
“I only wanted to assist the woman; I had no other intention. That is all I know about the whole thing.”
Elizabeth, who adopted the baby, said she had six grown up daughters but wanted to have a male child because of the “negative effect of not having a male child in Igbo culture.”
She said she contacted Rev. Fr. Ejiofor to help her because she did not know how to go about it.
Elizabeth, who said she was a widow, said she regretted seeking a male child for adoption.
The CP said the baby was sold for N800,000, allegedly facilitated by Rev. Father Chike Ejiofor.
He said the suspects stole the baby and drugged him so that he would not scream when they were taking him out of Osun State.