Six-year-old Jeremiah Abasi was living with his parents in Ihiala area of Anambra State when his aunt, Onyebuchi Chibogu, decided to bring him to Lagos State to continue his education.However, in less than four months on Adidas Street, Olodi-Apapa area of the state, Jeremiah went missing after reportedly running an errand for his aunt’s neighbour.
His mother, Chika Abasi, told Punch that findings by the family revealed he was kidnapped.She said
she was in the village when she got a phone call that Jeremiah was missing.
“I was in shock. I called my husband at Onitsha, and he asked me to travel down to Lagos to know what exactly happened.It was when I arrived Lagos that I learnt that the man who kidnapped my son was a stranger in their compound; he had taken a snapshot of my son two weeks earlier with his phone, while the boy was half naked.
“I just want them to tell me what has happened to him. It is better for me to know my son is dead than the pain they are making me go through.”
Jeremiah’s brother, Miracle, who was holidaying in Lagos, said the victim was with a neighbour, identified only as Ijeoma, and her boyfriend, Ogbonna.Miracle, 15, explained that he had also been sent to buy a stick of cigarette for Ogbonna, but when he returned, he could not find Ogbonna and his brother.He said,
“On August 22, around 6pm, I came back from the field where I went to play football.I met my brother at home and I called him to the backyard for us to go and take a bath, but he refused, saying he wanted our aunt to come back before he would do that.
“When I finished, I saw Mr. Ogbonna taking a picture of my brother with his phone. I asked him to also take my picture, but he showed me a photo of my brother he had taken two weeks earlier.He gave me N20 to buy a cigarette for him, but when I came back, I didn’t see my brother again or the man.”
Miracle said he noticed that the door was shut and he threw the cigarette away.Around 11pm, the news had spread that Jeremiah could not be found.A crowd of people were said to have begun blaming the 15-year-old for leaving his younger brother at home.
“I tried to explain to the crowd that my brother was with Ogbonna and his girlfriend, but Ogbonna, who suddenly returned with his girlfriend, shouted me down and threatened to beat me” Miracle added.
Chibogu, told our correspondent the matter was reported at the Tolu Police Station and the two suspects were arrested.
A police source confirmed to our correspondent that a picture of the missing boy was indeed seen in the phone of one of the suspects, but said it was not enough to conclude that he kidnapped the boy.