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It was a sad moment yesterday evening as three tenants in Umuahia realised that four of their children had allegedly been taken away by their new neighbour who just packed into the house three days earlier.
The tenants, all women, were Madam Ngozi Kingsley from Okon Ohafia Ohafia LGA, Madam Ifeanyi Uduma of Okon Ohafia and sister to Ngozi Kingsley and Madam Blessing Peter Obasi from Nwoke compound, Elugwu Nguzu Edda in Ebonyi State. All are traders in Umuahia.
According to them in an interview with PUNCH, the suspect (woman) whose identity is yet to be determined packed into the compound on Thursday, 15th of December, as a new tenant, along with another lady suspected to be her sister, friend, or an accomplice.
It was discovered that she packed on with only a camp gas, a 6-inch small foam, and a mart, with a little bag suspected to be her dressing. It was also noted that while in the house, the two ‘miraculous’ tenants only tied similar wrappers, an indication that they had little clothing with them.
Within the first two days, they endeared themselves into the heart of the rest of their neighbours as women who love children by playing with them, buying them gifts and as well sending them on errands, and at a time, went to buy brooms and other things with one of the grown-up children that later escaped abduction from the suspects.
However, Madam Ifeanyi Uduma (33 years) had treaded with caution though not suspecting any foul intention by the suspect. Uduma said, “On one occasion, one of my children came out of the house of the suspects wearing a white cloth with red spots” which she quickly removed from the child and was queried by the suspects why she did so.
Uduma, who said he came to Umuahia from Ohafia this year, narrated that having been subjected to hardship in her hometown, decided to relocate with her children to Umuahia to enable her sister, Ngozi Kingsley, to assist her with her fish business at the local markets.
According to her, within two days, the suspect and her friend cook food and give it to the children who will playfully enter into the suspect’s room.
‘That yesterday (Saturday), she bought them drinks and gave them biscuits and later gave them food to eat. The suspect also gave another tenant in the house food, and even me.
“Later, they dressed my last child in white clothing with red sports flowers. My child came to me excited to show me. I removed the cloth and dressed my child with her cloth and the woman came and asked me why I removed the cloth from my child and I told her that I wanted my child to wear my cloth.
“Later, I saw her accomplice moving out with a sack bag with the clothes packed and the white ones on top and I asked her where she was going. She said she wanted to go and buy things at the city centre while she had told another woman in the compound that she was going to give her sister the clothes she bought for her. This one is a little slim while the main suspect is black, fat, and has bleaching marks on her leg.
“When the other one left, the fat one came out to where the children were playing that Friday evening, the children rallied around the suspect playing and demanding bobo drinks. I left to fetch water and came back not to see them. I sent someone to go and know where the woman took the children and they were nowhere to be seen. That was how I started looking for them.”
The suspect took two of her children.
The suspect also took one of the grandchildren of another tenant, Madam Blessing Obasi, who also said her daughter and the mother of her grandchild were dead.
According to Uduma, along with Obasi, they went to the shop of the landlord who had already closed his shop around 7 pm, and later proceeded to the police where they made entry.
Also corroborating Uduma, Obasi, who is a trader at Umuopara Goods Shade in Umuahia South LGA, said she came back that Saturday to hear that “they have taken my child, took another woman’s two children and one other child from another woman, making the number of the children four girls.
“We went to the Central Police Station to report that Saturday and were there up till 1 am, looking for them. When that happened, I called the Landlord to inform him and he said he would call the woman. The landlord later, called me to say the suspect’s line was not going through. Up to 12 pm, I was yet to see the landlord, unless he came when I was not in.”
She disclosed the name of her grandchild as Miracle Akubata from Imo State, whose mother’s body is at the mortuary, crying that she had yet to inform her father.
However, the woman whose daughter was abducted, Ngozi Kingsley, was not seen as she was said to have traveled to her home, Okon Ohafia, on Sunday evening when this reporter visited and her phone number was not reachable.
Confirming the incident in a press statement, the Commissioner Of Police, Abia State Command, Kenechukwu Onwumelie, said an investigation was ongoing.
Onwumelie, in a statement by the command’s spokesperson, Maureen Chinaka, said “At present, the police have arrested some suspects associated with the unknown tenant and an investigation is in progress to determine the whereabouts of the children.