An unidentified middle-aged man, Wednesday, abducted two siblings, who were returning from extra-moral class in Satellite area of Lagos. Thereafter, he exchanged them for two bags of rice in a shop at 63, Marwa Road, near Chemist Bus Stop.
The children are aged eight and 13. It was gathered that at the shop, the abductor told the sales girl that he would like to take two bags of rice to the mother of the children, whom he claimed owned a restaurant close-by, to ascertain whether the rice was the brand she needed.
Reports have it that owner of the shop, MrsSilverline, explained that “ the abductor told my sales girl that the mother of the children needed Indian rice, but my sales girl told him that what we had was Brazilian rice and that it was good.
“Thereafter, he made a phone call to someone he claimed was the mother of the children and at the end said he would like to take the bags of rice to the woman. But my girl insisted on following him to collect the money for the bags- N40, 000, should the woman agree to buy them.
“The stranger said he would ride on a motorcycle with the bags of rice, while my girl followed with the children on foot. But on reaching the purported restaurant, the owner said she never saw any one with bags of rice, neither did she admit knowing the children.
“They walked to Ijegun end of Satellite without any sight of the abductor. When we asked the children about him, they said that the abductor was not their father.” An eyewitness, Ifeoma John, said that immediately the abductor left with the bags of rice, a man who claimed to be the biological father of the children, arrived, alleging that his children could have been hypnotised by the abductor.
He contacted policemen from Satellite Division, who took everyone involved to the station, from where the children were released to their parents.
Meanwhile, Smugglers operating at the Badagry-Seme border tried a fast one on operatives of the Nigeria Customs by packaging smuggled rice as dead bodies.
The mobile patrol team leader, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Mr. Ozah M., said the team noticed the frequency with which the said ambulance was patronising the international route with the ‘dead body,’ a development they thought was becoming alarming.
The officials stopped the ambulance, a Volvo with number plates DV 74 EKY, for proper examination. The ambulance was discovered to be carrying eleven bags of imported rice that was carefully arranged and wrapped as corpses, leading to the arrest of a suspected smuggler, Mr. Moses Degbogbahun, who brought in the commodity.
The management of Seme Command, however, warned that no amount of smuggling antics along Seme border route will go undetected by the eagle eyes of officers and men of the Command.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. TaupyenSelchang, said the suspect was still undergoing investigation for possible prosecution.
All these occurred within the period a Rice Dealer predicted imminent fall in price of rice. Although, Chief Anthony Ndukuba, a major rice dealer in Umuahia, expressed optimism that the price of rice would soon fall in Nigeria.
Ndukuba expressed optimism, while speaking on the high price of the grain in the country. He said the grain would become affordable as soon as farmers begin to harvest in the next few months. “I am confident that there will be a bumper harvest this year. So, by November, the price of the commodity will definitely come down,” he said.