A middle-aged woman has been arrested in Umuchigbo, Iji Nike community in Enugu East Local Government Area for attempting to kidnap and sell children in the community.
She pretended to be insane while perpetrating the act.
The woman, who identified herself as Chinwe Okafor said she hails from Iyi-Ozubulu in Nnewi, Anambra State but has been living in an uncompleted building in Umuchigbo community for over a month.
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She confessed to have successfully kidnapped two male children in the community and had handed them over to her brother, Chibuzor Okafor, who sold each of them for N400,000.
“I changed station from the North. I was living in Sabon-Garri in Kano State with my brother before I came to this place. I have sold only two children. I caught them with a charm made with white powder. When I blow the substance on their face, they become weak and sleepy. It was Chibuzor that gave me the white powder.
“Chibuzor comes here to meet with me. He is the one that told me to come to this community. I am not mad. I just want to dress like this. My other clothes are in my bag. I left my hair like this because I want it to grow so I can plait it.
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“He gave me N5000 for each of the children, so I got N10,000 for the two children. But he sells them for N400,000 each.”
President General of Iji Nike community, Chief Chukwuemeka Anike lamented that the community has witnessed several cases of missing children and young girls in recent times.
“Some of the missing young girls were later found dead with their vital organs missing. The children were never found,” he said.
“This lady came to kidnap a child yesterday (Wednesday) and she was caught in the act by security men. The boy was going into his parents compound after running errands for them when this lady grabbed him. .
“The boy started shouting and attracted the attention of the security men. If she had succeeded in applying that charm, the boy would have slept off and that would have been his end.
“This lady is someone we don’t know. For more than two months she has been living in an uncompleted building looking for children to kidnap. Last year, a woman went to take her bath. Before she could come back, they had stolen her four-day-old child.
“About two weeks ago, a lady told her mother that some people called her for employment, but she hasn’t returned till today. We are not sleeping with our two eyes closed because of people living close to us.
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“We are ready to follow this matter to any length to ensure that we can sleep with our two eyes closed in this community.”
Anike said in a bid to boost security and ensure that such an incident is checked he has convened a meeting of all the landlords in the community.
“What we want to do is to get to know the people living in this community. Every landlord should know his tenants and what they do for a living. We’ll also take note of every unoccupied or uncompleted building in this community.”
A resident, Mr Nnaetoo Okoli said he had seen the mad woman roaming the community severally but that his wife suspected that her madness was not genuine and she could be on a mission in the community.
The suspect was immediately handed over to officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation.
When our reporter visited the office of the agency in Enugu, an official who did not want her name to be mentioned acknowledged the custody of the suspect.