Residents of Mushin area of Lagos State, yesterday, foiled an attempt by a middle-aged man, identified as Charles Ibeleme to exchange a 9-year-old boy at Olowo Street in the area for a bag of rice.
The suspect was almost exchanging the nine-year-old boy, who was sent to buy sachet water (pure water), for a bag of rice when someone, who knew the child, intervened.
An eyewitness, who gave her name as Obioma Chineye, told newsmen at the scene of the incident, that “The boy in question is our tenant. He was sent to buy pure water. On the way, the man called him and he followed him as if he was hypnotised.
“Meanwhile, the person who sent him on an errand sighted him when the stranger accosted him. He became curious when the boy passed where he was supposed to buy the water and ran after the suspect.
“When he asked the stranger what he was doing with the boy, he claimed he was his brother.
“At that moment, the boy came back to his senses and said he did not know him. A mob descended on him, during which he admitted to be a kidnapper. He said he was taking him to some people who sent him. He also said that he went into kidnapping because of hardship.”
Ibeleme was at the verge of being lynched when policemen from Olosan Division arrived the scene and rescued him.
The State Police Public Relations Officer in the state, PPRO, Dolapo Badmus, while confirming incident noted that, “Operatives from Mushin Olosan Division rescued one Charles Ibeleme while being mobbed by a tumultuous crowd over allegation of attempted kidnap.