Police rescue three children from suspected traffickers in Ebonyi
By Ruth Oginyi
Three children were over the weekend rescued from suspected human traffickers at the Nkaliki area of Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital. A tricycle operator had observed some silly behaviour of a woman and her husband with the kids and alerted the police.
Orient Daily gathered that the victims identified as Sopuruchukwu Ugbo, (8 years), Tochukwu Eze (5 years), and Wisdom Eze (4 years) were reportedly taken away from their villages in Ikwo and Izzi local government areas of the state respectively.
According to Ebonyi state police command’s public relations officer, DSP Loveth Odah, Sopuruchukwu and her brother who is yet to be found were kidnapped at Izzi, while Tochukwu and the brother wisdom were kidnapped at Agubia in Igbudu community, Ikwo local government area.
Odah further disclosed that the children were rescued at Nkaliki when luck ran against their abductors. According to the police spokesperson, the partnership between police and residents of the state lead to the success story as the people alerted the police on apprehending the suspects.
“Somewhere around Nkaliki, we received a distress call that something was happening and on reaching there we saw two children who were kidnapped by a woman and a man. Thank God we were able to arrest them and brought the victims to the station”, she said.
Odah shed more lights on how the children were rescued through the help of citizens. “It happened that a Keke rider who was conveying the suspect with the children to a park saw how unkept the children were, he started to question them, when the woman started to lie. The woman said the children were the sister’s children that the crisis between Ikwo and Abakaliki people affected that she was taking them to care for them. But the Keke driver instead raised the alarm and attracted the attention of people and called the police number.
“One of the two children that were stolen about two weeks ago yesterday identified the same women as the person that abducted them, when the girl identified the woman she said she was fair and we insisted that she is not the only fair person in the society, the girl then said the woman had a wound in her hand that was fresh as at the time they were kidnapped, lo and behold we saw the wound at the same sport the girl said.
“So far, these syndicates have kidnapped four children, three have been recovered and one is yet to be recovered. Police is still investigating the matter to uncover more of their heinous activity”, she adds.
One of the victims Sopuru Ugbo told newsmen that she was kidnapped alongside her brother at Nwezenyi and taken to Enugu where she was abandoned. “I was going to Nwezenyi with my brother when the woman came and said that my mother said she should buy something for us to eat. I said I was not going anywhere; she used her handkerchief on me and I stopped talking.
“She went and met with a man called Gwogwo, after discussing with him she took us away. We entered Keke to Onuebonyi and we entered a car to Enugu where we slept. But in the morning, I did not see the woman and my brother again. I don’t know where my brother is, my brother’s name is Enyichukwu.
“The woman has a wound on her arm, so immediately I saw her yesterday I recognized her. It was a lady called Chinaza that called my mother”, she adds.
Orient Daily gathered that the rescued children were later police handed over to their parents, who commended police and the people that helped to save their children.
Mr. Ogbonnaya Eze recalled their last encounter with their children before they were picked up by the traffickers. “Our children Tochukwu and Wisdom were sent to buy biscuits at the neighbour’s house when these people took them. Tochukwu is five years old while wisdom is four years old. Both are in Nursery 1. In the night one man came to us and said he saw a write-up on Facebook about two children that were rescued by a Keke rider at Nkaliki and were taken to the police station, he and their pictures. He showed it to me and they were my children. That was how we found out that they were rescued”, he said.