Ini Billie, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it has recovered three stolen children from a child theft syndicate.
Commissioner of Police, Olatoye Durosinmi stated on Wednesday in Uyo during a press briefing that the child theft syndicate and a father who raped his six-year-old daughter were among the 96 criminal suspects arrested between July and August 2023.
Durosinmi noted that the child theft syndicate deceived the mother of the children, one Utibeabasi Monday Enang, who stole her two children, ages 3 and 5, who were sold in Asaba, Delta State, while the third child was recovered in Rivers State.
According to the CP, the mother of the stolen children was almost beaten to death when she demanded her children from the suspect and had to escape for her life.
“Within July and August, we have consolidated on our gains of a peaceful Akwa Ibom by arresting Ninety-Six (96) criminal elements within the state for the offences of murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, defilement, cultism, among others and recovered arms and ammunitions.
“On the 9th August 2023, Operatives of Anti-Child Theft of the command, in a rigorous investigation arrested one Peace Patrick Paul ‘f’ who deceived one Utibeabasi Monday Enang, both of Obot Akara LGA and stole her two children, ages 3 and 5 in the month of May, 2023.
“The said Peace Patrick Paul sold the two children to one Mary Eunice in Aba, Abia State who in turn sold them to one Bella Uko in Asaba, Delta State.
“Similarly, one Alayodi Paul Onyekwere ‘f’ of Abroma, Rivers State was arrested for stealing an 11-year-old daughter of one Emmanuel Macauley Daniel ‘m’ of Ikot Ikot Village in Obot Akara LGA.
“Suspect alleged to have been sent by her grandmother to steal the child which she led operatives to recover from Rivers State.
“The children are here today and will be reunited with their families. The command appreciates the collaboration of Yak Iyamma and Arise the Frontline of Abolition of Trafficking in Person Project,” he stated.
Narrating to our correspondent how her two sons were taken away from her, the mother of the children, Utibeabasi Monday Enang said the suspect deceived her with a promise to take her to the hospital to treat an ailment.
Enang explained that the suspect took her to Ikot Abasi to be treated, only to start beating her when she asked father of her children. She added that she escaped from being killed through the help of a good Samaritan.
“After Peace Patrick Paul took me to the hospital in Ikot Abasi where it was diagnosed that I had internal heat, she took me to the houses of her different boyfriends, where we stayed for over three weeks. When I started asking for my children, she promised to take me to where my children were.
“On our way, she asked the driver to stop by a bridge, saying we would have to cross the bridge. As we were trying to cross the bridge, Peace started beating me and attempted to push into the river but I struggled with her.
“It was then, that a man who lived close by came to rescue me. He took me to his house, where I slept and later used his phone, put on my sim card and called someone to send me money because Peace had seized my phone from me.
“When I returned back to my village, I reported the matter to my Village Head, who reported the case to Yak Iyamma organisation,” she stated.
Sunday Michael Ben, the father who raped his six-year-old girl however denied that he committed the act, saying he was not aware that the daughter was raped.
“I had my daughter with me in the house and that night, I woke up to fix my heater that was bad because there was light. I didn’t touch her. I believe my girlfriend who was with me in the house committed the act. I only noticed in the morning that she had a blood stain on her leg,” he said.
Meanwhile, the six-year-old daughter said somebody touched her at night she said, saying she couldn’t say anything and didn’t see the person who touched her.
CP, Akwa Ibom State, Olatoye Durosinmi during the press briefing; the child theft syndicate and two of the stolen children.