by Chinwe Okafor
On Sunday, April 19, two unidentified men sneaked into the Surulere Baptist Church, Ojuelegba Road, Lagos State premises and abducted a three-year-old girl, Oluwabunmi Ajelero.
According to reports by Punch, the girl was playing with other children on the church premises at about 1pm when the kidnappers came in through the back of the church and tricked her out with Gala before whisking her away on a motorcycle.
Oluwabunmi’s parents and other members of the church were inside the church immersed in the service when the incident happened.
The service stopped when one of the toddler’s playmates alerted the congregation to the incident.
Apparently, the captors had pretended as members of the church and established rapport with children in the church.
The victim’s father, Oladapo Ajelero, said the captors had contacted him on the phone after, telling him to cooperate. He, however, said they had yet to request any ransom.
He said, “It happened around 1pm on Sunday. The children finished their service before us and were playing on the church premises; Oluwabunmi was among them.
“Suddenly, one of her friends rushed in and said two men had lured and taken her away through the back of the church. Some people in the area said they saw her sitting between two men on a motorcycle. I learnt they escaped through Nathan Street.
“Our hearts are broken, we don’t know what to do anymore. They have called and instructed me to cooperate. I am still expecting their calls, but for now they have not asked for any ransom.”
Oladapo explained further that one of his relatives went to Surulere Police Station to report, but he was told to come back and make a formal statement after 24 hours of the girl’s abduction.
The little girl has now been found and rescued in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Monday by the police and reunited with her parents.
The Lagos Police spokesperson, DSP Kenneth Nwosu said Olawunmi had been rescued by a police team drawn from divisions in the state, adding that he was not aware that the family paid any ransom.
He said, “The child has been found in Abeokuta, Ogun State and reunited with her parents. Investigations are ongoing to track down the kidnappers.”