The police in Ogun State have rescued a 24-year-old Dubai returnee from the custody of an Islamic cleric five months after he allegedly abducted her from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State. The suspect, Olalekan Anifowoshe, aka Alfa, was said to have kept the victim, Simbiat (not real name), in his rented apartment in the Atan-Ota area of the state and allegedly had sex with her during the period. A Good Samaritan, who saw her sometime in May, was said to have informed her family and the case was reported at the Onipanu Police Division, leading to Alfa’s arrest.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Simbiat and the 42-year-old suspect were neighbours in the Surulere area of Lagos. It was gathered that the suspect’s wife and three children also resided in the Surulere area. The woman was said to have consulted him in 2013 for help over a spiritual attack before travelling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Simbiat, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, explained that after she received a call from Alfa on January 11, 2016, instructing her to come back to Nigeria, she lost her senses and returned to the country immediately. The victim told newsmen that Alfa had slept with her for at least 10 times, adding that anytime she demanded to see her parents, he would beat her up and boast that she had reached her “final destination.”
She said, “Sometime in 2013, I had a dream that a man made love to me. A friend introduced me to him and he gave me a piece of white cloth with Arabic inscriptions to cover my body whenever I wanted to sleep, which I used. Some months later, I travelled to Dubai. “On January 11, he called me on the telephone to come home. It was like a spell. I packed my things and arrived in Lagos the following day without telling my parents. He picked me at the airport and took me to his apartment in the Aboru area.
After some time, he relocated me to Atan-Ota, where he was eventually arrested. He beat me anyhow and slept with me. “Sometime in May, he took me to a river for a ritual. While he left me to do something inside the bush, I saw someone I knew. The person informed my father that I was already in Nigeria, but in captivity. My father was shocked because he thought I was in Dubai.”
Simbiat, who sold food in Dubai, alleged that Alfa also collected her jewellery valued at N250,000 and a cash sum of about N480,000. The suspect allegedly owned up to the allegations in his statement to the police, promising to refund the money. He said apart from prayers, he also used traditional means to help solve his clients’ problems.
He said, “I am married with three children. The woman and I knew each other in Surulere, where my family members reside. As an Islamic cleric, I help people facing problems with prayers and it works. That was how I got to know Simbiat. “It is true I cast a spell on her to come back to Nigeria. She was living with me and I slept with her occasionally. I only borrowed the money from her, I will refund it.”
A source close to the victim’s family, who did not want her name in print, said it was unfortunate that she had to go through such an “excruciating” experience. “I don’t know why this happened to someone like her. She is decent and religious. I have never seen her with a boyfriend. I think the mistake she made was narrating the dream she had to a friend who took her to Alfa. If she had told her father, she would not have fallen victim,” she added.
The Ogun State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident in a text message, saying the suspect had been charged to court.