42-year-old Zainab Salisu, who stole two children, told newsmen, yesterday, at Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, that she needed the babies because she had a miscarriage, but needed to show her lover evidence of the pregnancy she claimed was his. However, Zainab’s lover, Saheed Akinwale, a father of three, said he only met her last year, adding “few months after we started dating, she said she was pregnant for me and wanted to travel to the United States to deliver the children.
“I assisted her with N250,000. While she was outside the country, she kept calling me with a private number. I never suspected that she was in Nigeria, or that she never had a child. “Three weeks ago, she called that she was back in the country and I went to her place to see the twins she claimed were mine. I am innocent. I know nothing about this crime.”
On how she stole the babies, Zainab said: “I stole Feyitola because I had miscarriage and I did not want my lover, Saheed Akinwale, who gave me N250,000 to process my travelling documents to the United States, where I told him I was going to deliver the baby, to find out the truth.” On the second child, she said: “I did not steal Philip. His mother died four months after his birth and his father, who is my uncle, asked me to take care of him. It was after I stole Feyitola that I told Akinwale that I had come back to the country with the twins.”
“I am from Katsina State, but I have been staying in the South West since I finished my secondary school education in Kano State. I got married in 1992, but I lost my husband in 1993. I met my new husband last year. “I stay in the Ifo area of Ogun State. My new husband lives in the Matogun area. When I met Fehintola’s parents on that Saturday, I intended to take her away and nurture her as my child. When we went to the supermarket, I did not observe any camera, but I knew there would be cameras there.
“When I fled, I took the girl to my place in Ifo. I lied to my husband in August 2015 that I was pregnant. I told him I was travelling abroad when I realised that he would notice that I was lying. He was the one who drove me to the airport. “But I did not travel abroad. So when I stole Fehintola in May, I went to him and told him I was back. I took the girl and another boy to him as my twins.”
“I told my husband that I had a set of twins. I said they were a boy and a girl. He did not suspect anything until yesterday when the police came to arrest us. I call the toddlers Taiwo and Kehinde. The other boy is related to me. He is my cousin. The mother is dead, but the father lives in Sagamu. I took good care of both children.”
The two infants, one-year-old Feyitola Lawal, and Taye (not real name) had been rescued by operatives of the Lagos State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Yaba, Lagos. Feyitola Lawal was abducted on May 16 by Zainab Salisu, who reportedly introduced herself to the baby’s grandmother as the owner of a poultry farm, who would love to supply them eggs.
It was gathered that Zainab, who claimed she was new in the area, Abule-Ijoko, became friendly with the Lawals and abducted their child after gaining their trust. Zainab, who said she needed to buy souvenirs for her children’s birthday, disappeared at Agege Bus Stop with Feyitola, whose mother had accompanied her.
The case was then reported to all the police divisions at Area G, Ogba, and later transferred to SCIID, Yaba, Panti, for further investigation. Seventeen days later, Zainab was tracked down through her phone and arrested with another eight-month-old baby boy simply called Taye.
Baby’s mother tells her story
Mother of the toddler, Lawal Damilola, 25, who claimed she met Zainab at her mother-in-law’s shop, where she claimed to be new to the area and needed a Church where she would be worshipping. She said: “My mother in-law directed her to our Church and on Sunday, she came to worship. She came back to the shop two days later.
“This time, she said her children wanted to celebrate their birthday and that she was to buy souvenirs, pleading that I should accompany her. I carried my baby and we went to Justrite Supermarket. “She said she did not find any souvenir that she liked. Later, she offered to help me carry Feyitola and then disappeared with my baby.”
Parading the suspects, the command spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmus, said that the police swung into action immediately the case of child abduction was reported at the Divisions in Area G, Ogba, and the SCIID, Yaba. Badmus said the investigation paid off as the suspect and one Saheed Akinwale were arrested, with another stolen child recovered from them.
Credit: Vanguard/Punch Metro