Daniel Ogundele, the father of the 20-month-old baby, Opeyemi Ogundele, who was allegedly stolen at a christening ceremony in Ogun State, last week Sunday, said his child is still alive in the den of suspected kidnappers.
Ogundele said that as at Monday night when he allegedly had a phone conversation with an Ifa priest, Chief Olansile Ifayemi, who was accused of masterminding the mysterious disappearance of the child, has told him that his missing toddler was alive in his custody.
Ogundele, who spoke with reporters yesterday, said he had reported the matter to the state police command headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta.
The toddler who last week Sunday disappeared mysteriously during a naming ceremony at Inukosegba village, near Akorede Estate, Mile II in Abeokuta North Local Government Area.
The baby was said to have been kidnapped at about 1:30pm at the christening organised by the family of Mr. Olusola Osunleke for their newborn daughter.
In the process of searching for the baby, residents discovered a suspected ritualists’ den in the area, which was adjacent to Osunleke’s house.
The discovery made angry residents to storm the area and vandalise the building, wherein human body parts, human effigy, fetish objects and masquerade regalia, among others, were found.
Speaking later, the father of the missing toddler, said he succeeded in reaching Chief Ifayemi on telephone on Monday night.
Ogundele stated that the Ifa priest confirmed that the “stolen baby” was in his custody at Isabo area of Abeokuta and that the child was alive.
“We got his phone number and called him on Monday night. The priest said my child was still alive and with him at Isabo. He claimed that he was in Isabo area of Abeokuta. This was around 10 pm on Monday. He said nothing is wrong with my boy. He just asked us to stop people from destroying his house,” he said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the claims of the toddler’s father that the baby was with the suspected ritualist.
Adejobi said though the Ifa priest is at large; the police command had arrested two suspects in connection with the alleged kidnap.
“The prime suspect is still at large. But two suspects have been arrested. We have not seen the baby but investigation is ongoing. We assure the people of the state that we are going to unravel the mystery behind the incident.
“On the claims by the baby’s father, we (police) are not aware. If the man has such information, I think he should have told the police, “he said.
Meanwhile, residents of the area where the incident occurred have cried out for help over alleged threat by the suspected mastermind of the kidnapping, the Chairman of the Community Development Association in the area, Kunle Ojewale said Ifayemi had threatened him and three others in the community.
Ojewale, added that he had to run away from his home and relocate to Mowe in Obafemi-Owode local government because of the threat,as Chief Ifayemi had called his line and threatened him for instigating the people against him.
He said he had since relocated to an undisclosed place in Mowe area.
It was also reliably gathered that house suspected to be the ritualists den has been demolished by the angry youth in the area.