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Police Yet To Arrest Lagos Despatch Rider Found With Toddler

The Police in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, has confirmed it is yet to arrest a despatch rider found transporting a baby, while the parents’ identities also remain unknown.

A despatch rider was caught with a baby inside the courier box on his motorbike in the Sangotedo area of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria.

The development was posted on Twitter alongside a video by Gidi Traffic on Saturday, March 12, and the identity of the abducted baby is yet to be ascertained.

The despatch rider was beaten by a mob that discovered the baby.

The incident is coming on the heels of Bamise Ayanwola’s murder; the 22-year-old fashion designer went missing after boarding a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Feb. 26 and was later found dead.

HumAngle reported how Andrew Nice Omininikoron, the BRT driver, was eventually arrested and arraigned before a court in Yaba for alleged murder and rape.

The police in the state on Saturday, March 12, explained why the despatch rider who had a baby inside the courier box at the back of his motorcycle had not been arrested.

Adekunle Ajisebutu, the spokesperson for Lagos command said the incident has not been reported to any police division in the state.

“Attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a video going viral on social media alleging that a yet-to-be-identified d(e)spatch rider stole a child found and recovered in a d(e)spatch box,” the police statement said.

However, Ajisebutu said Abiodun Alabi, the state commissioner of police, directed that efforts should be intensified to locate the despatch rider and the parents or guardians of the child to enable the police to investigate the incident.

Cases of killings and abductions 

Growing insecurity in Nigeria has been attributed to poverty, unemployment, and ‘get rich quick syndrome’. Stories of children being killed for fetish purposes are becoming rampant in Nigeria, while many of them are never found, those found are often found with missing body parts.

In Feb. 2022, five children between the ages of 18 months and four years in the Rukpakulus area of Port Harcourt, South-south Nigeria were abducted by a woman who disguised as a school teacher.

Three of the abducted children were reported to have been taken from one family, while two others were abducted from another family.

A 2021 SBM report revealed 2,371 persons were abducted across 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT from Jan to June.

Analysing data from Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) between 2015 and June 2021, HumAngle reported how the rate of kidnapping and mass adoption in Nigeria has doubled in 2021 when compared to previous years. 

The NST report also showed states in the Northwest had 1405 victims of kidnapping, followed by the North-central region (942), Northeast (211), Southwest (169), South-south (140), and Southeast (77).

Early Feb. Nigeria’s lower parliament called on the government to declare a national emergency aimed at resolving the rate of ritual killings in the country.

“The House notes that incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times. It also notes the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, which in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals,” said Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Minority Leader during a plenary.

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Azeezat Adedigba

Azeezat Adedigba is an Assistant Editor/ Lagos Bureau Chief for HumAngle. She is also an investigative journalist and the winner of the 2019 Female Reporters Leadership Program (FRLP) organised by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). Azeezat is passionate about gender and children advocacy. She has a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Jos.

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