17 Days After
Search for Missing Girl Continues
Police dismiss kidnap theory, advise parents to keep eyes on kids
By Abolaji Adebayo, Sola Okewole
There is still no clue on the whereabouts of 4-year old Victoria Gbadudu, 17 days after she disappeared mysteriously from her home at Fla 5, Block 200 in the Low Cost Housing Estate, Oke-Afa Ejigbo.
The situation has left her guardian, Mrs. Victoria Enababor in distress. She offered to take care of the child who was born out of wedlock.
Narrating the incident, a saddened Enababor who makes a living by grinding pepper in a small shop in front of the block, told Echonews:
“Victoria’s father is grandson of my elder brother and was born out of wedlock. So, the girl was given to me to take care of when she was six months old and she has been living with my family since then. I named her after me and she sees me as her mother.
“On the day the incident happened, which was Friday, August 9, I gave her bread and stew as breakfast. She even refused to take her bath first before breakfast. And because she was not going to lesson that day, I didn’t object. And she was eating when I left home for my shop which is nearby and then went to Cele Market to buy meat. I returned later to the shop. I left her with my 16-year-old son at home but that one left her in the house and went out to do other things.
“So, all in my mind was that Victoria was at home playing, more so that I was battling to fix the belt of my grinding machine that got cut. It was after I fixed the belt that I came home and then asked my daughter who had returned from lesson about Victoria’s whereabouts because I didn’t see her around.
“She told me that she hadn’t seen her since she came in, thinking that she was downstairs playing with the neighbours’ children, as they all used to play together. That was what we all thought and I began to cook the meat. But while doing that, we went downstairs to ask of her and they said she wasn’t with them,” she revealed.
Alarmed, Mrs. Enababor, her children and sympathisers combed the neighbourhood from about 4pm when they discovered the child was missing till 7pm, then headed to the police stations to report the incident.
“We reported the matter at Ailegun Police Station and then Ejigbo Police Station and later at Isolo Police Station and others around but all to no avail up till this moment,” she said.
The elderly woman, who is a widow, explained further that she reported the case at seven police stations after fruitless effort to find Victoria.
The Police has dispelled rumours that the child was kidnapped. It says it is a case of “missing” person.
According to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ejigbo Police Station whose office covers the area where the incident occurred, CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, the case in the communities is not in any way a kidnapping issue but case of missing children. She advised parents to keep eyes on their kids and notice when they leave the home.
She confirmed that one of the missing children has been found and that the police was working to ensure that others were found.
CSP Okuwobi was referring to the spate of missing children in recent times.
On Thursday, August 8, a 9-year-old schoolboy, Isaac Yaqub, who lives with his parents at Block 166 within the Estate, was playing in the neighbourhood around 5.00pm but did not return home.
He was declared missing and later found alive and unhurt the following day in Ketu, a driving distance of 16.7 kilometres that would take 38 minutes to commute.
On Wednesday, August 14, two four-year old kids, Mbachu Godwin and Raphael Ogunwole who were living with their parents at No.10, Oluwakemi Street, Ilasamaja in Isolo LCDA were declared missing.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, said the cases were not being treated as kidnapping based on investigations.
He told Echonews: “What we have in Ilasamaja and Jakande Estate area of Lagos State is the case of missing children and we cannot say it is kidnapping. We received the information about the missing children and the police are still investigating the cases. We are looking for the children and not until we find out that they were actually kidnapped, we can’t say there are kidnapping cases in those communities. We have deployed our intelligence teams and they are working on the cases.”