Shock as pupils on holiday from Cotonou disappear in Lagos
Uncertainty about the whereabouts of two siblings, Ridwan Adeleke, 10, and his eight-year-old sister, Nimota Adeleke, has caused panic in Wera town, Eyita, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The children, who live in Cotonou, Benin Republic with their parents, were said to be on holiday in Nigeria.
It was gathered that the primary school pupils were born in Cotonou and could only speak French and Egun languages.
PUNCH Metro learnt that that their mother, Fatimoh Adeleke, had brought them to her elder sister in Mushin, Lagos, about two weeks ago, while she returned to Cotonou.
After spending a week in Mushin, the sister, identified simply as Iya Saheed, took them to another younger sister, Esther Morufu, on Odubegu Street, Wera town.
Our correspondent gathered that the pupils were playing on the premises of Morufu’s house on Saturday at about 5pm, while she was in the bathroom.
After taking her bath, Morufu reportedly discovered that the siblings were no longer on the premises and started making enquiries about their whereabouts from her tenants.
One of the tenants, who did not want his name in print, said other residents joined the woman to search for the children, while the case was reported at the Owutu, Sagamu Road, Igbogbo and Ipakodo police divisions.
He said, “That evening, the landlady knocked on my door and asked whether I sent the children on an errand. I told her that I didn’t know their whereabouts.
“About an hour later, other tenants raised the alarm that the landlady had fainted because she could not find the children. She was revived and everybody went out to search for the children.
“We reported at four police stations. The police promised to get back to us when they get any information on them. The children don’t understand Yoruba.”
The tenant said several parks around Ikorodu were visited on Saturday and Sunday in search of the siblings, adding that their parents had been informed about the incident.
Morufu told PUNCH Metro that in the course of the search, a resident told her that he saw the siblings walking along the street and chatting with each other.
She said, “They just finished eating that day. I went to take a bath while they went outside to get fresh air because there was no electricity. When I was done, I checked outside, but I did not see them.
“Somebody later told me that he saw them. He said he thought they were sent on an errand. They had been to Lagos before, but they were very young then.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the mother, Fatimoh, a native of Ibadan, Oyo State, returned from Cotonou on Sunday, to join in the search.
She told our correspondent that the children were supposed to resume school in August.
Fatimoh said, “They are on holiday. I brought them to Lagos from Cotonou two weeks ago to spend part of the holiday with my sisters in Mushin and Ikorodu. They spent a week in Mushin and came to Ikorodu on Friday, June 23 to celebrate Eid-el-fitr.
“We are confused now; we have not heard anything about them since they went missing. We have gone to many places to look for them.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, promised to get back to our correspondent. Punch