A man, identified as Innocent Ndubusi, appears to have simply vanished into thin air, after allegedly abducting his neighbours’ eight-month-old baby, identified as Chinwendu. Ndubusi, a father of three, was alleged to have stolen the child seven months, after moving into the building.
The baby’s mother, Mrs. Rejoice Ekiri (29), described herself as a walking corpse since the abduction. She said her life shattered and appeared to be on pause after her only child was stolen. Almost choking on her tears, Rejoice, who lives at 104, Afam Road, Oyigbo, Rivers State, with her husband Emeka, said that she had only been able to keep breathing because of God. Weeping quietly, she said: “The situation of a dead person is better than my present condition. I have not been myself since my daughter was stolen.” Recollecting how her little girl was stolen, Rejoice said: “It happened on December 28, 2017. I brought my child out.
A few moments after I came out with my child, our neighbour, Ndubusi, also came out from his apartment. We greeted each other. It was in the morning. He requested to assist me hold my child, while I continued with my domestic chores. I handed the baby to him. I heard him say that he would buy things for her.
He asked me if I had N200, so that he would give my daughter N500. I told him that I didn’t. “He then said that he wanted to buy airtime outside. He left the compound to the next building, where they sell recharge cards. I thought he went to buy recharge cards. That was how he disappeared with my daughter.
Till date, I have not seen him or my baby. “It’s still like a dream to me. I went to bed with my baby; she slept beside me throughout the night and then in the morning, she was gone! I’m appealing to members of the public to assist me in locating my neighbour. I know that if we see him, we would see my daughter.
This is an abomination. It has never happened before in our land. Police should do their job. They should please locate where the man is hiding my daughter. She is my first and only child after over two years of marriage.” Rejoice’s heartbroken husband, Emeka (32), said the police arrested Ndubusi’s wife, but later released her.
He said: “The police released the woman the following day without making her to lead them to her hus-band. According to the police, they had to allow her go because her baby was not feeling fine. Can you imagine, their baby is not feeling fine, while her husband abducted mine? I couldn’t believe it, especially since it took police a lot of time to track and arrest the woman.
“I expected the police to get the woman’s husband before they allowed her to go. She was arrested on Thursday and by Friday, they had released her. Do they think that releasing her, her husband would ever surface?” Emeka said that a week after the woman was granted bail; police called and asked him to follow them to know where her surety lives.
He recalled: “I told them that I was not coming. What was the use of knowing where her surety lives, while the man who stole my daughter is nowhere to be found? The same police told me that the man would soon come to visit his family and they would arrange how to arrest him.
After a month, nothing has happened; the police have not seen the man or my baby. “We went to a human rights office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and after listening to us, they spoke with the police. The human rights people told us to be prayerful. That means they cannot help us. It’s been two months now and I had not gone to do my business. Right now, nothing in life seems important to my wife and I. We got married in October 2016.
The Rivers State Police keep telling me that they are on the case. But I asked; how long will it take them to reunite my little girl with her parents?” Emeka said that after Ndubusi disappeared with the baby, they tried his phone, but it was not going through. When they tried it again, it was switched off. Emeka explained that he believed that Ndubusi planned the abduction of his daughter. He noted that a day before the stealing of his daughter, Ndubusi sent his wife and three children to the village. He disclosed that it has been discovered that Ndubusi had already taken some important stuff out of his apartment before he carried out the dastardly act.
Emeka said: “When Ndubusi went to buy the recharge card, he said the place was not far from the compound.We didn’t know he had plans. After endless waiting, we went to Oyigbo Police Station to report the case. The police went to his house with a search warrant. “They discovered that he had taken some important items out of the house.
He left the door net open and locked the main door. He did this, so that people would think he didn’t go far. Normally, he used to lock the net and leave the door a little open. We don’t know any of his family members until we went to where he was living before.
The place is not too far from our building. He moved into our building seven months ago. When we went to his former apartment, the landlord directed us to his elder sister. It was the sister that assisted us in locating his wife, who travelled to Umuahia, Abia State three days before the incident.” Emeka said that he had not been impressed with police investigations. He felt they were not doing enough to find his daughter. He added: “This man is a very close neighbour. He lives in one room apartment and has three children; a girl and two boys. Even his last child is just four months old.
Before he stole my daughter, he deliberately sent his family out. He was always at home, alone, until that day. The baby woke up while we were outside washing clothes, and started crying. My wife brought the baby out. He asked to hold the baby for us while we continue to wash. “We gave him the baby, and he started playing with the baby in our presence.
Then he said that he wanted to buy this and that. That was how he took our daughter away. His wife confessed that her husband wanted to sell her three months baby, but she fought him. According to her, she told him to go and look for another child to sell, but that it wouldn’t be hers.” Emeka noted that Oyigbo Police Station advised them to transfer the case to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Port Harcourt.
He said that it was there that the woman was released without proper interrogation to ascertain Ndubusi’s whereabouts. He said: “Policemen at the SCID collected N50, 000 from me, which they said they wanted to use to track Ndubusi. I have to look for the money because I didn’t want to fail my daughter. I had to struggle to raise the money. The police were able to trace one phone call linking to Ndubusi at Owerri, Imo State.
They said I should bring N100,000, which would be used for their movement from Port Harcourt to Owerri. Due to the urgency, I had to run around and raised another N70,000. We went to the place and police arrested one lady, who said that her husband made the call, and that she had separated from him. Her husband was a child trafficker. The police also released her.
I was tired and lost interest to go to the police anymore. Since then, I have been looking unto God for intervention.” The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) of the case, Mr. Felix Okoh, said that our correspondent was a mad man for getting across to him to hear his own side of the story, especially on the extortion of N120,000 from a desperate couple.
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command was not aware of such an incident. While stressing that allegation of extortion of N120,000 from the couple couldn’t be correct, Omoni promised to get back to our correspondent.