How petrol at­ten­dant stole my nine-month-old baby - mother

Daily Trust - - CRIME - From Eu­gene Agha, La­gos

A32-year-old petrol at­ten­dant was ar­rested penul­ti­mate Tues­day af­ter she al­legedly stole a baby from a shop in Orodu Street, Aje­gunle area of La­gos.

Jen­nifer Onye­buchi was tracked down at a vil­lage in Anam­bra State by po­lice­men from La­gos af­ter she was ac­cused of selling the nine-month-old baby to a cou­ple at N150, 000.

How­ever, Onye­buchi claimed that she went away with the baby with the con­sent of its mother.

It was al­leged that the petrol at­ten­dant posed as a friend to the baby’s mother and pre­tended that she was go­ing to buy him bis­cuits. But when she no­ticed that Bio­dun Adetole’s mother’s eyes were not on her, she quickly boarded a com­mer­cial mo­tor­cy­cle and dis­ap­peared with the baby.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that the sus­pect had been on a close watch of both mother and child since the baby was born.

Ayo Ade­ola, 42, who sells kerosene in jerry-cans, told Daily Trust that she sus­pected the petrol at­ten­dant’s false close­ness to her and the baby, but could not sum­mon the courage to re­port her to the man­age­ment of the petrol sta­tion.

“I found it ex­tremely funny that any time I went to buy kerosene in their sta­tion she would al­ways want to carry my baby. Some­times, when the queue was very long and slow, she would vol­un­teer to help carry my baby un­der­ground, un­der the pre­tence that the weather was too hot.

“I sus­pected her at first, but I dropped my sus­pi­cion as time went by. She was al­ways ask­ing to know where I live, but each time she raised the dis­cus­sion, I would cover it up.

“It was so un­til one day when I went to buy kerosene as usual from the fuel sta­tion. Again, she de­manded to know where I stayed. I was not too will­ing to tell her, but af­ter a se­ries of per­sua­sion, I re­luc­tantly gave her the ad­dress of my shop.

“On that fate­ful day, she ar­rived at my shop around 11 am. And when I asked if she was not work­ing that day, she replied that she was not on duty.

“We talked for a while. You know women talks. It was then that she de­manded to know if the Mal­lam who owns a kiosk by my shop was selling bis­cuits and drinks; and I said yes.

“She said she would like to buy some for my child. I was watch­ing her from the cor­ner of my eyes as she went to the kiosk. How­ever, some­one came to buy some items from me. So I went into the shop to pick up the item.

“When I came out of the shop I dis­cov­ered that she was nowhere to be found. I ran af­ter her, head­ing to­wards the di­rec­tion, but she had sud­denly dis­ap­peared,” she re­counted.

The 42-year-old mother of two said she started call­ing Onye­buchi’s phone num­ber im­me­di­ately.

“At first, her tele­phone rang, but she re­fused to take her calls; and later, the phone went off. It was then that the enor­mity of what had hap­pened dawned on me - my baby had just been stolen. Many things went through my mind. What was I go­ing to tell my hus­band when he re­turned?” she said.

The woman, who is still in shock and has sud­denly be­come hy­per­ten­sive as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent, said the four days her baby was away was like hell. She said the mat­ter was im­me­di­ately re­ported to the po­lice, who went to her place of work, but she was nowhere to be found.

The com­mis­sioner of po­lice, La­gos State com­mand, Fatai Owoseni, who pa­raded the sus­pect, said she was tracked down at a vil­lage be­tween Ok­ija and Abia, adding that ef­forts were on to ar­rest other mem­bers of the gang.

The 42-year-old mother and her child

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