The police from Funbi-Fagun Division in Ondo City have arrested a couple, Ayobami and Mujoidat Wahab and two other women for alleged child trafficking.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the station, Mr. Olu-Ojo Ogunmoyole, who disclosed the arrest of the four persons, said the suspects who specialised in street begging business, were indigenes of Ibadan in Oyo State.
According to him, the suspects were arrested with five pupils who were between the ages of eight and 10 years. He said the suspects were arrested at various locations in the community following complaints by the residents of the area.
The DPO explained that the suspects always pretend that they were blind and move about with each pupil to beg for arms at different locations in the city on daily basis. In a confessional statement made at the station, one of the suspects who gave her name as Folasade Iyiola, said she relocated from Ibadan to Ondo City recently to continue with her street begging business.
The suspect, who described herself as a victim of circumstances, explained that she made away with two of the pupils in two different locations in Ibadan without the knowledge of their patents. The woman explained that she had been in the business for over three years because she was arrested by the police.
“I was introduced into the begging business by Mujidat who is one of the suspects when we met at the Central Mosque in Ibadan and told me if she could get under-aged pupils that would be used for the business, after which I helped her to get two pupils before I later joined her in Ondo for the business,” she stated. One of the pupils who gave his name as Ibrahim, said he was a primary six pupil of a popular primary school in Ibadan.
He said he was in the midst of his colleagues in Ibadan during the celebration of the last Ileya festival when he was captured by one Mrs Mujidat and brought to Ondo.
“I was at Idi-ape in Ibadan on the day of Ileya festival when the woman held me in my hands, after some minutes I couldn’t get myself again, before I could open my eyes, I met myself in Ondo City. I slept for about two days before I could get myself back. “Few days later, we started the street begging business, it was on Saturday the first town we visited was Akure and we made a lot of money, they gave us cooked rice at one of the ceremonies where we visited.
“When we got back home they gave me food and told me that my money is N500 on each outing,” he said in Yoruba language. When he was asked how he got to the police station, the boy said he always see his mother in a dream crying whenever he sleeps begging him to return. Ibrahim said when he could not sleep again, he told another child named Fatai, who was also being used for begging and told him that we should run away to Ibadan. “When we were on the trip nd became hungry we begged for gari from one woman.
It was the woman that called the police that later came and picked us in their car. It was the police that later traced those that brought us from Ibadan,” Ibrahim said.
The DPO stated that the suspects would be transferred along side with the pupils to the Ondo State police command headquarters in Akure for further investigation on the matter.