A resident of Ndemili community in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State, Festus Nwaomucha, has narrated how a kidnapping gang, which included a 70-year-old woman, sold his five-year-old niece for N500,000
According to Nwaomucha, a number of children had been going missing in the community over time but on September 24, his niece, Glory Oyibo, was snatched right from the family compound in Ndemili, throwing the family into a panic over what might have happened to the little girl.
He said for over two weeks, the family made several efforts to locate the child but they got a break on November 13, when news filtered in that two kidnappers had been caught in Issele-Uku, a suburb of Asaba, with two children in their vehicles.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that when the two suspects – Emmanuel Udagwu, a resident of Agbor Alidinma and Celestina Enebeli from Ulogwe Isumpe – were arrested by the police, they confessed to have been involved in some previous kidnapping of children from Ndemili and surrounding communities.
Nwaomucha said the two communities the suspects come from, share boundaries with Ndemili. They confessed kidnapping about nine children so far in the entire localities.
“When they kidnapped children, they transported their victims to Asaba, where a 70-year-old-woman received the victims for onward ferry to other places for sale,” he said.
The septuagenarian, who has since been arrested has reportedly made statements about the clients he sold the children to.
“The old woman confessed that she had sold my little niece along with another victim, a boy, for N500,000 to some people in the East. She sold them through another man in Asaba. The man outsmarted us during arrest, abandoning his taxi colour car,” he said.
The police have said efforts are still ongoing to recover Glory and other stolen victims from wherever the gang sold them to.
“I want to thank all those who have been standing by my family through prayers, which have paid off. We are still praying for Glory to be alive in captivity so that she can be found in good health and reunited with her parents and other siblings, who have not stopped crying day and night since she was kidnapped,” Nwaomucha said.
The police have said they are working to ensure that other members of the gang were rounded up while the identities of missing children would be determined to effect their recovery from where they are sold to.