An attempt by a middle-aged man to abduct a boy in Mushin area of Lagos was foiled, yesterday, following his arrest.
The suspect, Charles Ibeleme, was accosted at Olowo Street by residents. There were different accounts of the incident. A version said he was at the verge of exchanging his victim, a nine-year-old boy, for a bag of rice when someone, who knew the child, intervened.
Another version has it that he was allegedly taking his victim, who was sent to buy sachet water, to an unknown location when someone who knew the victim raised the alarm.
An eyewitness, Obioma Chineye, said: “The boy in question is our tenant. He was sent to buy pure water. On the way, the man called him and he followed him as if he was hypnotised.
“Meanwhile, the person who sent him on an errand sighted him when the stranger accosted him. He became curious when the boy passed where he was supposed to buy the water and ran after the suspect.
“When he asked the stranger what he was doing with the boy, he claimed he was his brother.
“At that moment, the boy came back to his senses and said he did not know him. A mob descended on him, during which he admitted to be a kidnapper. He said he was taking him to some people who sent him. He also said that he went into kidnapping because of hardship.”
The suspect was thrown into a gully and was on the verge of being set ablaze when policemen from Olosan Division arrived the scene.
Confirming the incident, spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmus, said: “Operatives from Mushin Olosan Division rescued one Charles Ibeleme while being mobbed by a tumultuous crowd over allegation of attempted kidnap.
“The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, for further investigation.”