The Kwara State Police Command have arrested a 70-year-old woman, Zanab Alabi, for allegedly kidnapping a three-year-old girl, Fatiah Mustapha and using her to to beg on the street.
The command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who made this known to journalists in Ilorin yesterday, said the young victim had been released to her parents.
Also speaking with journalists on the development, a relative to the girl’s mother, Mrs. Maryam Abdulganiyu, said the girl was found in a worship place popularly called Ori-Oke at Basin area of Ilorin.
It was also gathered that the aged suspect had claimed that she used the proceeds from the alms begging to feed and clothe the child.
The girl, according to investigation, was declared missing by her parents who reside at old Shao garage, Ilorin since March 25.
“After an endless search, her parents were said to have resorted to prayers to seek God’s intervention.
“And in a bid to seek God’s face, the father of the girl, was said to have approached a man of God at the popular mountain prayer known as Ori-Oke, located around Basin area of Ilorin state capital.
“While the search for the girl lasted, it was gathered that Opeyemi’s grandfather, Mallam Isa, went to the same Ori-Oke to worship where he saw the 70-year-old woman with the missing girl,” Mrs Abdulganiyu said.
He was said to have alerted the man of God in charge of the centre that he had seen his missing grandchild in the custody of an unknown person.
They later accosted the woman but allegedly met a resistance from her as she claimed that the girl in question was her grandchild.
The situation, according to sources, further led to a heated argument following which the matter was reported to the police at the Basin divisional police station, Ilorin.
In their bid to get to the root of the matter, the police were said to have detained the two persons laying claim to the child and another suspect while investigation into the matter was still going on.
However, relations of the kidnapped girl requested that the police release the suspect, saying that the little girl appeared to be psychologically imbalanced as she could hardly remember her name.