Behind from left: Emmanuel Igwe, Paul Owne (Alleged Mastermind), Mercy Paul a.k.a Maimuna and Ebere Ogbodo with the kidnapped and trafficked children at the front The Police Command in Kano state has Friday, rescued and reunited nine kids with their respective families. The kids were allegedly kidnapped and sold off to Anambra state for trafficking. Aged between 2 to 10 years old the children were said to have been kidnapped from various locations within the State capital at different times.
The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu who handed the kids to their respective families said some of them had gone missing since 2014, but were traced down to Anambra State where they had been sold off.
Eight suspects had been arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping and trafficking of the children. Parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters, the CP, said the command was alerted about the mysterious nature of disappearance of children from neighbourhood by one Sagir Mohammed Bako. He said the syndicate ran out of luck when the ring leader one Paul Owne and his wife Mercy Paul were arrested in the process of moving one of their kidnapped victims, Haruna Sagir Bako to Onitsha. The CP disclosed that, Bako was kidnapped on September 11, 2019, on his way home from Islamiyya School, at Yankaba quarters, of the State capital.
Iliyasu said the suspects’ confession during interrogation led the command to extend its investigation to Anambra state where eight other trafficked children had already been sold. Some of the children our reporter observed have lost connection with northern tradition as some of them could barely speak Hausa language their mother tongue. CP Iliyasu said, ”The suspects confessed to have conspired among themselves and kidnapped various children from areas like Sauna, Kwanar Jaba, Kawo, Hotoro, Yankaba and Dakata quarters, all within the Kano metropolis.” Among the suspects paraded over the alleged kidnap and trafficking of children were Paul Owne, Mercy Paul, Emmanuel Igwe, Ebere Ogbodo, Louisa Duru and Monica Orachaa. Responding to questions from reporters, the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping, Paul Owne disclosed that he had realized over N2m as proceeds from the crime. He said he had kidnapped and moved seven children to Anambra state within five years. He said he sold the children to some childless women in the state, adding for each child he earned around N200, 000.
Ebere Ogbodo an alleged buyer said she was introduced to Owne who based in the north by one Emmanuel Igwe. She said Owne told her that his wife works at motherless babies’ home and thus accepts the children from him. She added that she bought the child because she has no child. Meanwhile, the Command had arrested 124 suspects for various offences ranging from, kidnapping, Armed robbery, car snatching, as well dealing in hard drugs, among others. The suspects were arrested from various locations during routine police raid of criminal hideouts in its bid to rid the state of criminal elements. Among the exhibits recovered from them were 15 assorted assault rifles, 22 vehicles, some bags of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp among many other things.