A Facebook campaign against the kidnapping of children in Isiala Ngwa South in Abia state has led to the recovery of a 5-year-old boy in Ebonyi state two years after abduction.
The boy, Destiny Azubuike, was abducted from his parent’s residence at 20B Afam Rd, Oyigbo, in Rivers state on the 19th of December in 2016 by an unknown person. The unknown abductor has now been found to be Mrs Evelyn, an ex- mistress of their neigbour identified as Dr Oberenwa.
Evelyn abducted and sold the boy for the sum of N500,000 to Mrs. Patricia Chukwu, a widow and staff of Ebonyi State Secondary School Management Board, who renamed the boy Samuel.
Police started trailing Mrs Evelyn after a tip off by someone who had seen a campaign on Facebook by Social activist and citizen journalist, Comrade Phils decrying the state of child-kidnapping in Abia state. The post had videos obtained by WIRED Nigeria exclusively via Mr Ubani Dannie, an outspoken politician who hails from Isiala Ngwa South and who has relentlessly championed the cause for the victims of child kidnapping in his community.
The prime suspect was trailed to her ex-husband, who explained that they had divorced due to his suspicions that his ex wife sold their biological child to a foster parent. He, however, offered to assist in the arrest Evelyn but was mauled to death by unknown assailants while returning from work weeks after offering to assist the police. An incident the police also believe may be connected to the investigation of Mrs Evelyn.
The death of her ex-husband gave a temporally pause on the investigation until the tip off from a social media user opened new links establishing Evelyn as the prime suspect in many child kidnapping incidents. The big break came when it was established that the Evelyn who was the mistress of the neighbor of the abducted boy in Oyigbo was the same as the Evelyn who allegedly led a kidnapping gang in Isiala Ngwa South in Abia state.
Further investigations led to her arrest at Umuikaa Junction in Isiala Ngwa South. She was then taken to Oyigbo Police Station where the matter was initially reported in 2016.
The detailed investigation by the police team made her to spill the beans, and some other accomplices were arrested.
Little Destiny was discovered on the 11th of December, 2018 in Ohaozara Local Government of Ebonyi State where he had been renamed Samuel by Mrs. Patricia Chukwu. All suspects are now in police custody at Oyigbo in Rivers state.
Mr Ubani, who also joined the police to trail the suspects, has used his personal resources to assist the victims in several ways for months now. He told our reporters that the governor of Abia state, Okezie Ikpeazu, was in support of his efforts to assist the victims but stressed that much more needed t be done in the efforts to rescue the abducted kids.
Mr Ubani spent weeks trailing some victims of child-kidnapping in Abia state. He was able to find some and gather video testimonies of their travails, which were shared online by Comrade Phils and used as awareness to call on the government and security institutions to take actions against the crime of child kidnapping in Abia state.