Fate smiled on an unidentified young boy hawking on Alhaji Jamiu Sulaimon Street in Itele, Ota area of Ogun State on Tuesday evening as he was rescued from kidnappers in the area, just as he was about to be killed.
No 3, Alhaji Jamiu Sulaimon, where the boy was rescued is unarguably one of the most beautiful houses on the street but no one could have imagined the horror discovered behind its high walls.
When our correspondent visited the scene on Wednesday morning, a police patrol vehicle was stationed in front of the compound to ward off curious residents and looters.
Upon gaining access to the house, it did not take long for our correspondent to notice a spatter of blood on the walls of almost all the toilets in the house. One particular toilet had more heavy smears of blood on its walls and door.
A resident of the street, Abdulateef Isa, told our correspondent that the rescued boy used to hawk belts on the street.
Isa said, “The boy is Igbo, he sells belts and he is known by many in this area even though we don’t really know his name.
“He was hawking with his friend yesterday (Tuesday) before this whole issue came to light. His friend, who is also an Igbo boy, knew when he was called into the compound but when he waited for more than 30 minutes and his friend had not come out, he raised the alarm.”
A police officer from the Itele Police Division told our correspondent that residents of the area came to the station to report on Tuesday evening that a boy who went into a compound to sell had gone missing.
“Our divisional police officer instantly issued a search warrant and detached a team to the compound. When we got there, a large number of residents had gathered and we had to be strategic in controlling them for us to gain access.
“We got there and met a young man who said he was the brother of the owner of the house. He started opening each of the rooms, acting calm and repeating that, ‘See for yourself, each room is empty.’
“But our DPO insisted that she perceived an odour that was abnormal. She asked one of us to climb through a window and check the corner of a toilet. And there was the boy, covered in blood. He was even too weak to shout.
“From the look of things, the kidnappers had already attempted to kill the boy but hurriedly abandoned him and fled because the victim’s friend raised the alarm. The man we arrested must have been given order to stay behind and divert suspicion.”
The boy was said to have been blinded in one eye as caked blood covered one of his eye sockets. There was a bloody deep gash on his neck also, which was suspected to have come from an attempt to slaughter him.
Our correspondent learnt that the boy was immediately rushed to the hospital while the man found in the house was arrested. The agent in charge of the house was also later arrested.
Few minutes after the police left the compound, the residents set the house ablaze and every valuable in the house was destroyed.
When our correspondent visited Itele, the police could not reveal the hospital where the boy was receiving treatment for security reasons, while the names of the arrested suspects were withheld.
A four-bedroom bungalow, painted in and out with fancy paint, it was clear the house was built by a wealthy person.
Residents said the house was completed about three years ago.
“The generator in this house runs all day long,” one resident told our correspondent.
The fence around the house is the highest in the area. According to our correspondent’s measurement, it is approximately eight feet tall, a reason neighbours said it was not possible to see whatever went on in the compound.
“The men we see coming in and going out of the house keep to themselves. All we know is that so many people come into the house. Nobody has gone missing on this street before, so nobody had any reason to suspect anything,” Mr. Olusegun Adio, who lives a few houses down the street, told our correspondent.
One of the leaders of the community, Alhaji Isa Jimoh, who notified the police about the missing boy, said he never had any inkling that kidnappers could be operating a den in the area.
Jimoh, who lives about seven houses away from the horror house, said, “I have no idea who owns that house and I have no idea when it was built. The short time it was built from start to finish, I was not around then.
“When I got report that a child who was hawking and called inside the compound never came out, I had to inform the police because I realised it was not the duty of residents to storm the place.
“The first time the police came, the place was under lock and key. They went back to their office and when they came back, they broke the gate, arrested a man inside there and discovered the boy almost dead on the floor of one of the toilets.”
Jimoh said no one had ever been missing in the area, which was why they probably did not suspect any criminal activity in the house.
Spokesperson for the Ogun State Police Command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, said the suspects arrested in the case have been transferred to the Department of Criminal Investigation, Eleweran, Abeokuta.
He said, “Our men from the Itele Division moved in as soon as they got a report about the house suspected to be used by kidnappers and succeeded in rescuing the boy alive even though he was in bad shape.
“The boy will pull through as he is currently receiving treatment in a hospital. In the meantime, the Comissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the case. Efforts are being made to apprehend other accomplices who fled the house. This is just an evidence of our determination to stamp out criminality in this state.”
Source: Punch


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