Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it has rescued one baby, Daniel Jackson Ekwere, as well as baby Goodness Effiong Okon, aged one month, three weeks and six months respectively who were stolen from their parents at gunpoint in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Odiko Macdon who disclosed this during the third quarter media briefing held at the Command Headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia in Uyo noted that at the time of the rescue of the six months old, the abductors had concluded plan to sell the baby at the rate of Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000).
Giving an insight into how the incident happened, the PPRO said, “based on a tip-off, the operatives of anti-child theft ambushed and arrested four robbery/child-stealing syndicate namely, Emmanuel Sunday Effiong ‘M’, Ibanga Sunday Effiong ‘M’, Editi Ibanga Effiong ‘f’ and Idorenyin Etim Iron ‘f’ of Ikot Okubo, Ibesikpo Asutan and rescued a six month-old-baby.
“Investigation revealed that the syndicate used a motorbike on 8/10/2021 at about 9:00pm, masked their faces and invaded the house of Mr/Mrs Effiong Okon Udo of Ikot Okubo Ibesikpo Asutan LGA at gunpoint, beat the couple, inflicted them with various degrees of injuries and abducted their six (6) month-old-baby girl by name, Goodness Effiong Okon. Both Ibanga Sunday and Emmanuel Effiong Sunday are ex-convicts for robbery/Cultism. As at the time of the rescue, arrangement had been concluded to sell the child for four hundred thousand Naira( N400, 000.00).”
Speaking on the one month and six weeks infant, the PPRO said, ”the suspect, a forty-year-old Margaret Friday Akpan of Ekpene Ukim Uruan, went to the house of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Blessing Jackson Ekwere ‘f’ pretending to be sick and thereafter sent the said Blessing Jackson Ekwere to buy drugs for her. The suspect ran away with her one month, three weeks old baby boy by name baby Daniel Jackson Ekwere before the mother, Blessing Ekwere returned from where she went to buy the drugs for her.”
He noted that the two infants have been rescued and reunited with their parents, adding that all the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
However, in an interview , Mrs. Effiong Udo, the mother of the six months old baby said she still suffers excruciating pains on her spinal cord as one of the suspects kicked her at the back to let go of her baby even as she expressed joy that her child has been reunited with her.
Also, the mother of the one month, three weeks old baby explained that when she called the suspect on phone asking the whereabouts of her baby, the suspect claimed she didn’t see her baby that she only went to the hospital as her stomach ache became unbearable.
“When I called her, she denied carrying the baby and said she had to rush to the hospital that the pain was becoming unbearable. I quickly called my husband who informed the police,” Blessing narrated.
She said when it became obvious that the suspect could not hide due to the calls she received; she packaged the baby in a Ghana must go bag and took to her daughter’s house in Ekpene Ukim, where she was nearly mobbed before the police arrived and arrested her.
Meanwhile, the PPRO noted that the command has arrested 136 suspects within the period under review among whom were: 11 murder suspects, 47 armed robbery and stealing suspects, 10 defilement and rape suspects, 21 suspected cultists, 16 suspected vandals, 7 kidnapping suspects and 24 others including child theft and other criminal activities.