Kidnapping children is now becoming a regular case as a week can hardly pass without one. One may ask how the children are kidnapped, renamed and, in some occasions, sold.
The perpetrators of this heinous crime employ various techniques to accomplish their evil mission. Below information revealed some of the tactics of the criminals:
“I was playing with my friends in front of my family house one evening when one man (who I later came to know as Mr. Paul) grabbed my hand and I started shouting. But he covered my mouth with his other hand and took me to an isolated place. A woman (Paul’s wife) later came and took me away from that place. When I got to their house, I saw Paul. And then, Paul took me from Kano to Onitsha.
“I was afraid when Paul’s wife took me away. I thought she would kill me, but after Paul took me to Onitsha, I become comfortable staying there. I was the first person Paul took to Onitsha. I was handed over to Madam Ebere, who I was told was my mother. Whenever a new set of children was brought to Madam Ebere, people come around to buy them from her.
“I had seen where Madam Ebere collected money from her visitors more than two times. I saw her counting money when they brought the twin girls – Husnah and Amira, who were also brought to Onitsha from Kano.”
This was part of the testimony of Farouk Ibrahim Ahmad, one of the nine kidnapped children recently rescued by the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, Kano State Command.
Another victim, Amira Auwalu Ango, also recounted her ordeal in the hands of her kidnapper.
Amira, who was kidnapped together with her cousin, Husnah, in Kawo Quarters a few months ago, told Daily Trust that, “We were on our way home when a woman stopped us and told us to follow her. Husnah grabbed my hand and agreed for us to follow the woman. I fell, the woman carried me and put me on her back, and took us to her home. When we reached her house, we started crying, but the woman threatened to kill us if we did not stop crying. She then cooked noodles for us, but I refused to eat.
“Later, the woman started consoling us to sleep. We all slept on the floor and the next day, she took us to a motor park where we entered a long vehicle that took us to Onitsha.”
Commander of Anti Kidnapping Squad, Nigeria Police, Kano Command, CSP Babagana Saje, explained that it was the reported kidnap of one child that led his men to promptly apprehend the suspects, leading to the discovery of the kidnapping racket in Kano and Onitsha.
“We have arrested some of the suspects including a man and his wife, who kidnap children here and sell them off in Onitsha.
“They sell the children for about N200,000 to a lady in Onitsha who in turn sells them to her customers in Lagos.
”In fact, two of the children were found with her as domestic servants,” he explained.
Saje added that the police found out that the kidnapped children were renamed and converted from Islam to Christianity to conceal their original identity and prevent them from being discovered.
“Parents of seven out of the nine have identified their children, following the necessary security procedures, but two are yet to be claimed.
Early this month, a woman, suspected to be human trafficker, was arrested with a six-month-old baby at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).
The middle-aged woman was arrested, while trying to board Azman aircraft to Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos.
She was arrested by personnel of Aviation Security (AVSEC) at the airport who later handed her over to the police for further investigation.