A middle-aged trader, Ufuoma Adavwetvwe, has been brought before an Apapa Magistrate’s Court for allegedly trying to kidnap a 20-month-old baby, Ifeanyi Okwedi.
Adavwetvwe allegedly Okwedi while the child was playing in a compound in Ajegunle, Lagos.
The Punch gathered that the trader first tried to lure the boy with a gift, and when the boy declined his offer he seized him and took off.
The accused almost escaped with the toddler but for a vigilant neighbour, who knew Okwedi’s parents challenged Adavwetvwe.
Adavwetvwe had allegedly identified himself as Okwedi’s father which led the neighbour to alert other residents to the incident.
It was learnt that angry mob at the scene of the incident beat up the suspect, after the child was rescued from him. It took the intervention of the police to bring the mob under control.
Adavwetvwe revealed to the police during interrogation that he wanted to sell the child to one Wale in Marina area of Lagos.
Adavwetvwe said: “I am a trader. I live on Agbeino Street, Olodi-Apapa. The boy did not answer me when I waved to him. I chased and carried him while he was trying to run inside. I was going to sell the baby Wale in Marina.”
Okwedi’s father, James, said a young man had rushed to his room to inform him about the incident.
James said: “After feeding my son on the fateful day, I left him outside to play with other children. His mother was cooking in the kitchen. Suddenly, a man rushed in and told me that he saw my child with a stranger. I did not believe until I got to the street and saw a crowd around the suspect and my child.”
According to the police prosecutor, ASP Olusoji Ojaokomo, Adavwetvwe was charged with one count of abduction.
The charge read: “That you, Ufuoma Adavwetvwe, on May 17, 2015, at about 12pm on Fatai Aremu Street, Ajegunle, in the Apapa Magisterial District, did steal a year and eight months old child, Ifeanyi Okwedi, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 275 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.”
Adavwetvwe pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was granted bail by the presiding magistrate, P. A. Adekomaya, in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in like sum.
Adekomaya, however, adjourned the case till June 17, for further hearing.