The family members of a 13-year-old girl, Janet Eyoma, who was abducted in the Elemoro, Ajah area of Lagos State in November 2013, are still hoping that the police would rescue the teenager and reunite her with them. Janet had left home on November 28, 2013, at about 5pm. The teenager, a Junior Secondary School 2 pupil, had been sent by her mother to deliver some pieces of smoked fish to a customer in the neighbouring Awoyaya area. Punch Metro reports that the girl, however, failed to return home. After hours of searching without success, they reported the matter at the Elemoro Police Division.
A week after Janet went missing, a phone number began to call the family repeatedly, but the caller reportedly refused to say anything. The phone number was given to the police at the State Criminal Investigation Bureau, Ikeja, where the case was transferred to. The number was tracked to Umuahia, Abia State, while the owner of the line was identified as Kelvin Umaru. SCIB operatives arrested a man, identified only as Pious, in November 2015 in Calabar, Cross River State, who was in possession of the number.
Pious, was brought to Lagos where he confessed that he called Janet’s parents because he saw their number saved on the sim card, which he (Pious) got from his stepfather, Kelvin Umaru. The police thereafter released Pious on bail in December 2015, and assured the family of the girl that they would go after the said Kelvin Umaru.
Family members, however, are yet to hear from the police again since December. Janet’s father, Godwin Eyoma, said his daughter knew his phone number offhand, and he suspected that her abductors had taken her to Abia State, where they obtained his number from her. Godwin added that it had not been easy for him and his wife searching for their daughter for three years. He pleaded with the police to help him rescue his daughter believed to be in Abia.
He said, “On that day, she had returned from school as usual, and her mother sent her to deliver some smoked fish to a customer in Awoyaya. It was a walking distance and an errand she was used to. The time was around 5pm.
“We expected her to come back, but it was never to be. We rushed to the customer’s place around 7pm and she said she never saw her. When I reported to the police at Elemoro, they transferred the case to the SCIB, Ikeja.
“Someone called my number a week after Janet went missing and when I picked it, the caller refused to talk. The person called four times on that day; so we gave the number to the police. The police later told us the suspicious calls were from Abia State. In October 2015, the police were able to arrest Pious in Calabar, Cross River State. But the suspect was later granted bail after he named one Kelvin Umaru, who he allegedly got the sim card from.
“Since February 2016, I have not heard anything from the police. The police allowed the suspect to speak with Kelvin (Umaru) and others on the telephone. So, the police might have given Kelvin a reason to flee. I want my daughter back. It is not easy looking for a child for three years.”
A police source at SCIB, Ikeja, said the next step in the investigation was to track Kelvin Umaru, who was believed to be in Umuahia, Abia State, adding that the police needed to be mobilised financially to embark on the trip.
He said, “Pious is a young man. He is just about 21. He told us he got the number from Kelvin, his stepfather. The young man did not know the number he used was suspicious. We had to release him on bail because a lawyer showed up and signed for him. The next move is to find Kelvin in Umuahia, but we don’t have money. The father of the girl knows what to do.”