Residents rescue boy, 10, from alleged kidnapper

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But for the
timely intervention of passersby and residents, a
suspected kidnapper, identified as Taiwo Ojo, would
have killed a 10-year-old boy, Moses Idowu, on Ayo
Odugbesan Street, Oworonshoki, Lagos.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Moses, who lived with his
parents on Agbarajesu Street, had strolled out to meet
his friends on a neighbouring street at about 8.30pm
on Monday, July 7. While Moses was on his way back,
the suspect, Ojo, who is about 26 years old, had
allegedly swooped on the boy from behind, and began
to beat him up.

Our correspondent learnt that some residents and
passersby who heard Moses’ cries for help had
gathered round the kidnapper and when he could not
give reason for beating the boy, they also beat him up
almost to unconsciousness.

Some of the residents told PUNCH Metro that the
beating by Ojo was meant to weaken the boy before
he would kidnap him.

It was learnt that it took the intervention of men of the
Oworonshoki Police Division to rescue Ojo from the
angry mob.

Speaking with our correspondent on Monday, Moses’
mother, Abike Idowu, said that if not for the timely
intervention of the residents, the kidnapper could
have beaten the small boy to death and taken the body
away.

She said, “Moses had strolled out that evening to play
with his friends. I was at home with the two younger
ones. The kidnapper, Moses later told me, was
sleeping by the roadside. People had asked him what
he was doing there, and he had said he was just
enjoying the breeze.

“But when my son passed, he suddenly attacked him.

It was the nearby residents who became suspicious.

They were the ones who came to his rescue.
Otherwise, maybe it would have been a different
story.”

Abike added that about four hospitals where they
initially rushed Moses to after the incident had
rejected him before he was eventually treated and
given injections at another hospital.

Our correspondent learnt that Moses could not go to
school throughout last week, and only resumed on
Monday (yesterday).

Another resident, who identified himself simply as
Olanrewaju, said Ojo, when caught, had feigned
madness to prevent the mob from beating him.

He said, “We just heard screams from the street. It
was evening and so, everywhere was dark. But we saw
a man struggling with a boy.

“We suspected he was a kidnapper, and he then
pretended to be mad. However, policemen from the
Oworonshoki station came to take him away.”

Our correspondent however gathered that three days
after Ojo was detained at the police station, his father
showed up to tell the police that the young man was
actually mentally-challenged, and had been missing
from home for many days.

Ojo’s father, it was further gathered, had also paid for
the hospital bills where Moses was being treated.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi
Braide, confirmed the arrest of the suspected
kidnapper, adding that the case was under
investigation at the State Criminal Investigation
Department.

She said, “On July 7, policemen attached to the
Oworonshoki Police Division rescued and arrested
one Ojo from an angry mob. Ojo allegedly wounded
one Moses Idowu, 10, of Agbarajesu Street,
Oworonshoki while attempting to kidnap him. The
case is under investigation at the SCID, Yaba.”

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