Oluwasemilore Adebiyi, who was declared missing about a month ago, has been found. Her mother, Tobiloba, said an apprentice she admitted, Mary John, sold the three-year-old for N60,000.
Tobiloba, who spoke to Punch Metro on the telephone from Anambra State where operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad rescued Oluwasemilore, added that John’s real name was Gladys Austin, a mother of one from Cross River State.
It was learnt that John had barely spent a week as an apprentice of Tobiloba in the Alagbado area of Lagos State when she absconded with the victim.
The case was reported to policemen at the Alagbado division, from where it was transferred to the FSARS, which began a manhunt for the suspect.
PUNCH Metro learnt that John was arrested in Badagry after which she confessed to the crime.
The victim’s mother said they discovered that John had collected N60,000 for her daughter before she appeared at their house in Alagbado.
She added that Oluwasemilore was sold four different times to different women before she was rescued.
She said, “After she was arrested in Badagry, she said she had been paid N60,000 for the job before coming to my house and she had planned to kidnap my tw vn ngcn o children. But she couldn’t because I had said if she didn’t come with a guarantor by Monday, she should not come to work.
“She said after she kidnapped Oluwasemilore, she left for Anambra by a bus the same day, and she sold her to an elderly woman, telling the woman that my daughter belonged to a prostitute who wanted to get rid of the girl.
“The woman buys new babies and resells to families without children. The policemen asked her to call the woman that she had another child to sell. When she did, the woman asked her if it was a ‘trouser’ or ‘skirt’, which was a code name for a boy or girl. We decided to give her my son as bait.”
She explained that the buyer arranged to meet John at a bus stop in Onitsha, adding that the woman agreed to buy her son for N500,000.
The police were said to have posed as evangelists and bank customers while they laid in ambush for the suspect.
“As she got there, the police started shooting and she wanted to run, but she was quickly arrested. She didn’t want to cooperate initially, but when she was drilled, she opened up and said she resold the child to another woman,” she added.
PUNCH Metro learnt that further enquiries showed that Oluwasemilore had been sold to someone in Awka, Anambra State and resold to another woman in the state.
Tobiloba said all those who bought her daughter resold her because they were attacked by a strange illness.
“Those people said when the child got to them, they became sick and their business started failing. Within one month, my child had been sold to four different families.
“The fourth woman was wealthy and despite falling sick, she decided to keep her. She handed her over to a relative while she was in a hospital. The child had been enrolled in a new school.
“When we called and disguised as if we wanted to buy the child, she said she was not selling the child, adding that the money she bought her was huge,” she added.
The policemen were said to have offered N500,000 to buy the child, and the suspect promised to drop the child beside a church.
The suspect was reported to have positioned some armed thugs around the area.
“On getting there, they brought the child in a Tundura Jeep. When some of the policemen alighted from our own vehicle to pick her, they opened fire on us because they didn’t see any money. The policemen replied the fire and they all ran, but we were able to get the child safely. Four suspects were arrested,” she said.
The victim’s father thanked Nigerians for their support.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, said he would call back, but he had yet to do so as of press time.