By Femi Adediran, Abeokuta
A seven-year-old boy, Joshua Joseph who was kidnapped two years ago in Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State and sold to one Blessing Ozor for N2 million has been rescued by the police.
The Ogun State Police Command also arrested Ozor, who allegedly bought the boy in 2017.
Joseph who had been renamed Chisom in Ozor’s house regained his freedom, following the arrest of two out of the three-member syndicate, Rita and Angelina.
The duo were arrested and remanded in the correctional home in Edo State for kidnapping related offence where they confessed Joseph’s whereabout during investigation.
Although Ozor agreed to his foolishness but claimed innocence of the crime, saying she adopted the child for the sum of N1million from a level 13 civil servant, Ifeoma Joy in Anambra State.
During the handing over of the boy to his parents, the Ogun State Command’s Spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi explained that, Joy sold the child to Ozor based on forged documents.
According to Oyeyemi, Joy works in the Ministry of Women Affairs in Anambra State, a leverage she used in selling off adopted children kidnapped by her other members of the syndicate, Rita and Angelina.
Oyeyemi said, “Joy is working at the Ministry of Women Affairs in Anambra State. She used the opportunity to arrange buyers for the stolen children.
“In the cause of looking for her, she got transfer to four local government areas within one month to evade arrest”.
“Our findings have shown that eight children have been stolen by this syndicate in Ogun State and four have been recovered.”
“One of the stolen children was found when the people who adopted him, saw the boy’s picture on the pages of newspaper and returned him”, Oyeyemi disclosed.
While speaking with journalists during the parade, Joy denied the allegation leveled against her, saying, she was not involved in the said crime.
Her words, “I never did such a thing like that. I know the woman that brought this boy (Joseph) as a worker of peace sisters home.”
“So, when my sister in fellowship came up with an idea of adopting a baby, I called her to help us get a baby boy and I gave Rita my sister’s particulars. When she finished with the particulars she now came with this boy. I never knew the boy was stolen”, Joy said.
Explaining her role, Ozor, said she gave Joy the sum of N150,000 for the process of the papers and later gave her N900,000 on the point of completion.
Ozor who spoke with tears rolling down her face, said, “I am just a victim of this circumstance by my foolishness. I went to a sister in our fellowship that adopted before, because, I have two daughters already but, I had a feeling for a son, my last daughter is 24 years old.
“I went through her because they had adopted before they led me to this woman, Joy. I believed that everything is okay because she made me believe that she runs a peace sisters home. I was asked to bring a passport and other documents for the adoption and I gave it to her”.
“And I gave her a sum of N150,000 for the process of the paper. The day she gave me the boy, there was a denouncement paper, that was the first paper she gave me and then collected her the remaining money, N900,000”.
“Joy processed other papers which I believed until now that they were genuine and gave them to me. That was why I took the boy home and started taking care of him from March 3, 2018, enrolled him into a nice school, that was how we continued until a day she came together with police and told me that the child was kidnapped.”
“I never knew, if I had known, because, I am a Christian I would not like to soil my reputation. I did not know the boy was stolen, I am a Christian, I handled Bible study in my church.
“I never did such in my life. It was like I made a huge mistake because, the people that led me into it, made me to believe that everything was okay.”
“I was told that peace sisters home was a nice place to adopt a baby that was what made me do so. And you can see that the boy is okay”, Ozor said.