Oyindamola Ojelabi, the eight-year-old sister of a Nursery 1 pupil, Michael Ojelabi, who was abducted on Wednesday, says she knows the captor of her four-year-old brother.
Oyindamola and Michael were returning from their school on Great Challenge Road, Unity Estate, in the Iba area of Lagos around 3.30pm when a woman abducted him.
It was learnt that the woman, who is still at large, escaped with Michael on a motorcycle.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the school, Mafina Primary School, is a few minutes walk away from the Ojelabis’ residence.
Oyindamola, who is in Primary 2, told PUNCH Metro that she could identify the woman if she saw her again, just as the police said they had launched a manhunt for the suspect.
While recounting how the incident happened, Oyindamola said she had initially refused to allow Michael go with the woman, who claimed to be their mother’s friend. She described the woman as tall, fat and dark in complexion.
“My brother and I were coming from the school that day when one woman approached us. She said she was our mother’s friend. She said my mother told her to pick Michael. I said no because I did not know her as my mother’s friend, but she left with him and told me to go back to the school, that she would come and pick me later.”Oyindamola said she was almost at the school gate when it dawned on her that her brother had been abducted.
“I was crying and told my mother. I can identify the woman if I see her. She is tall, fat and dark in complexion. She also has tribal marks,” she added.Her father, Sunday Ojelabi, said the children would have been picked from the school by their mother, but she was engaged in a task which delayed her. He said the abduction was reported at the Ojo Police Station.
“Their school is close to our house. Their mother takes them to school and picks them at the closing time. I was in the office when my wife called me on the telephone that they were looking for Michael. I joined them and we searched everywhere to no avail.
“The mother was doing something that day and had a short delay, so she could not pick them (the children) immediately the school closed. We have reported at the Ojo Police Division. Some people around the area said they saw Michael on a motorcycle with a woman. But they did not suspect the woman had any ulterior motive until we started looking for him.”The mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Ojelabi, said she was cooking when it occurred to her to go and pick her children in the school.
“The school closes at 3pm and by 3.05pm, pupils would be at the school gate. I was cooking when I checked the time and discovered it was 3pm. I rushed to have my bath. I got to the school at 3.15pm. I met Oyindamola crying. She said somebody had gone with her brother.”The school’s Vice Principal, Mr. Olalekan Kazeem, said Elizabeth used to pick the children inside the school until recently when she changed her plan. He said a teacher would have been assigned to escort the pupils if she had notified the school that she would be picking them on the road.
“Throughout last year, she came to pick them or assign her sister, and she would call me on the telephone. They always remained in the school until the mother sent someone. She met with me last Monday and we discussed some things about their going back home. It was when the incident happened that she said she told the kids to be coming from the school and that she would meet them on the way.
“She never told us that she wanted to have a change of plan so that we can monitor them; we have a teacher going towards their house. I am so surprised because such had never happened in the school before. We are also trying our best to ensure that the boy is found.”The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police were on the trail of the suspect.
She said, “We established negligence on the side of the mother, but the police are carrying out investigation into the matter.”
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