55-year-old woman identified as Mrs. Etuk Effiong and her daughter were on
Friday arrested in Calabar, Cross River State, after they were found with 23
children suspected to have been kidnapped and brought to their home.
The woman and her 27-year-old daughter, whose name was given as Inameti, were
arrested by policemen from the Mbukpa Police Station in Calabar-South axis of
the metropolis on a tip off.
Although the age of the children, who were looking hungry and dressed in
tattered clothes, could not be ascertained, a policeman said they were between
the categories of three to nine years.
The police did not also allow journalists who thronged the station to speak
with the arrested suspects.
State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hogan Bassey, who confirmed the
arrest, said the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Henry Fadairo, would speak
on the development after investigation had been concluded.
Southern City News gathered that the two key suspects were picked up on Friday
following a call from the Clan Head of Efut Unwanse, OkonEtim-Effiong.
at No. 30 Asuquo Abasi Street alerted me that one of his tenants, Inameti, was
camping unusually high number of children in her one room apartment under
“When I got there and confirmed, I had to alert the police who came and
evacuated them to their station on Mbukpa Street in Calabar-South, including
the suspect as well as another elderly woman whom she claimed was her mother.”
to the clan head, the principal suspect, the mother, claimed that she was a
general overseer of a church in Akwa Ibom State, where she was about to move
Etim-Effiong also said that the woman, whose husband’s name was given as Daniel
Effiong, is from Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
He said the suspect claimed that she had “official” permission from Federal
Government to run an orphanage, adding that she took the children in order to
“train” them in Akwa Ibom State.
The clan head, who said his quick intervention saved the suspects from being
lynched, believed that most of the children might have been stolen from
different parts of Calabar.
Also giving his version of the story, the landlord of the house were the
children were camped, Mr. Nsikak Ekpo said:
this morning that over 20 little children arrived my compound in a truck about
one hour earlier and were camped in Inameti’s one room apartment.”