The police in Akwa Ibom are keeping two brothers in custody for the kidnap and sale of their three-year-old nephew even.
The uncle of the child, Israel Nkereuwem Asuquo, who lived with the child and his parents in the same house was said to have abducted the child and alongside his accomplice, Emmanuel Edet Morgan and sold him to one Peter Ekanem for N200,000.
Afterwards, Ebere Peter Ekanem, wife of Mr Ekanem who is currently on the run, allegedly sold the child in Aba, Abia State to Godson Echedi for N400,000.
Mr Echedi, in turn allegedly sold the child to another woman, Ethel Chika for N480,000 before the this sorry trade was ended by the police.
The child, who was kidnapped on April 29, 2011 was recovered on the 25th of May, 2011 in Umuahia where he was moved to from Aba.
He had been adopted by a childless couple, who had applied to the child welfare centre there since 2009 for a child.
The 20-year-old hair dresser and mother of the child, Ime Nkereuwem Asuquo, said the loss of the child was an unkind cut from relatives she was taking care of.
“I left for work and kept the child in company of my two brothers. When I returned and asked for the child, my junior brother, Edet told me that Israel took the child away.
“When I asked Israel, he said he took the child out to buy him biscuit. But when he could not produce the boy I raised an alarm.”
However, in an attempt to scuttle investigations into the case of the missing boy, Israel and Emmanuel sought the services of a self-proclaimed prophet, Evans Dick Eshiet, who was paid N20,000 out of the proceeds of the sale of the boy to ensure they were not caught.
Profiteer from crime
His intervention proved useless, however when his clients were arrested by the police.
Commissioner of police, Felix Uyanna, who revealed that investigations were on to verify if the couple who finally adopted the child are culpable in the crime, noted that the female suspects were in the employ of the orphanage and child welfare department of the state women ministry. He said they use the cover of their work to engage in child theft and kidnapping.
“We are witnessing another version of kidnapping,” the police boss said. “Meanwhile, the mother and father of the boy were in distress looking for their son who was kidnapped by the very uncle living with them in the same house and the same building, feeding from the same soup pot.
“You could see the profiteering. As he moved from one hand to another, the price and the value kept going up. We thank God we are on top of the game and we have been able to get all of them.”