A 57-year-old herbalist, Tunde Ajibolorunsoro, aka Professor, has been held by the police for allegedly abducting a five-year-old girl in Meiran, Lagos Mainland.
He was said to have sold the victim, Aishat Muyideen, to his neighbour, Tajudeen Makanjuola, who is also an herbalist, for N60,000.
Punch reports that the toddler, Aishat went missing on Wednesday, September 25, 2017, and his father, Yekini Muyideen, reported the case to the police at the Meiran division.
It was learnt that police operatives acted on a tip-off and picked up Professor.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi, stated that professor led police operatives to arrest Makanjuola adding that the duo had engaged in a number of child kidnapping before luck ran out on them.
“The suspects specialise in kidnapping and selling children. After the father of the girl reported the case, investigation commenced. Investigation revealed that Ajibolorunsoro, aka professor, sold Aishat to one Makanjuola, aka Oluwo,” he said.
However, the suspects, who spoke to Punch at the police headquarters in Ikeja, refuted the allegation.
Professor said he was tortured by the police to confess to the crime.
The police command, however, dismissed his claim.
Narrating the incident that led to his arrest, Professor said: “I am a native doctor. On Wednesday, I was sitting outside my house in the evening when I saw some people, who said they were searching for a missing child. Around 11:00 pm when I retired to bed, some people shone torches on my house. I came out and asked them what happened. They said they were looking for a child.
“I advised them to report at the Meiran Police Station and they said they had done so. A few minutes after, I saw the torchlight again and came out.”
He said a crowd thronged his house the following morning and accused him of abducting the child. He said his apartment and compound were ransacked but the girl was not found.
“The police later arrested me. They tortured me to the extent that I didn’t know when I confessed that I stole the child and sold her to Oluwo.”
Oluwo, 65, who said he had no hand in the disappearance of the girl, stated that he was arrested after professor “was forced to confess.”
“This man (Professor) had said he was tortured to confess and that was why he mentioned me. If I know anything about this matter, I should die mysteriously. I am an herbalist in Meiran. I only know professor as a neighbour,” he said.