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Why I Stole a New Born Baby— 23 years old Lady

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Ibadan, Oyo State-based couple, Lawal Lateef and his wife, Monsurat, are currently trying to shake off the anxiety which gripped them following the theft of their three-day-old baby at the Ogbere Tioya area of the state.

The tot was retrieved from one Itunu Adepoju; a self-acclaimed acquaintance to the Lateefs, through the help of well-meaning Nigerians.

Narrating the incident to Saturday PUNCH, Monsurat, who gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Mission House, Yahora Faith Mission, Ogbere Tioya, Ibadan, noted that she went to immunise the newborn at Abaemu General Hospital, Ona-Ora, when she met Adepoju. She stated that the lady later stole her baby at their residence the following day.

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She said, “On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, when I went for immunisation, I was breastfeeding my daughter when she approached me claiming she knew me. She claimed to have known me from my area and that she was the daughter of my in-law’s friend. I couldn’t doubt the veracity of her claim because that is where I live.

“She further said that she stays in Lagos State and came to Ibadan because she intends to relocate soon. She told me that she would prefer my area because she had previously lived around there. Out of love, I said I could help her because I know of a vacant apartment in the area.”

Monsurat noted that she exchanged contacts with Adepoju and departed after her session at the hospital. However, on Tuesday evening, Monsurat received a call from Adepoju stating that she was in her area to see the vacant apartment.

She stated, “When she got there, I took her to the vacant house behind my house and she negotiated with those in the house about payment and other things. She even chose her preferred room and gave time to make payment.

“When we returned to my place, she called her supposed husband and said that she had seen an apartment and that it dragged into some minutes past 7pm on Tuesday. Then she begged me that she wouldn’t be able to return to her place and requested if she could pass the night in my house and leave in the morning after paying for the apartment.’’

Monsurat stated that when her husband returned home, he interacted with Adepoju who also claimed that she knew her and mentioned names of those who they worked together in his workplace.

She also told him that she was the daughter of one of his mother’s friends in Egbeda, Ibadan, adding that the names and descriptions she gave convinced her husband to allow her to pass the night at their place.

She added, “The following morning, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, after my husband left for work, she informed me that her husband had reached out and would soon send the money for the rent. Around 11 am, I was called by my husband and his mother to confirm that no one knew the lady and that the person she claimed to be her mother was not her mum.

“At that moment, I became restless and confused. I was told to find every means to get out of the house. When I got back inside, as if she suspected, she told me that she was ready to leave and that her husband had sent her the rent and the only thing left was for her to withdraw it at a Point of Sales shop.

“My husband called me on the phone again and because I didn’t want her to listen to our conversation, I stepped out. Before I came back, she had my baby strapped to her back already and asked me for the nearest PoS shop and that when she returned, she would bathe. I wanted to follow her but she said I shouldn’t and I couldn’t bear it so I sent two of my neighbours to follow her; 15-year-old Segun and 12-year- old Gbenga. ‘’

Monsurat further said that immediately when they stepped outside the gate, one of her husband’s siblings came to see them and asked after the baby. Thus, she said she had to excuse herself to call Adepoju to return home immediately.

She noted, “When she picked the call, she said they had yet to be attended to. I told her that my husband’s sibling came visiting and that she could return to withdraw the money later and she said she was coming. At that point, I started tracing her to the PoS shop because I heard a background noise of bikes and cars which was not supposed to be. At that point, her phone was switched off and it was the last time I saw my baby until today.”

In his own narration, Lawal said that he was suspicious throughout the night when he returned home and saw Adepoju who despite saying he knew him, he couldn’t recall if they ever met.

He said, “When I got back home that day, she greeted me properly but I couldn’t place if we ever met. She told me she knew me from Iso Parts, Sawia, Ibadan, Oyo State where I work and I was taken aback. She further asked me if I knew Habeeb, a part dealer like myself and I couldn’t do anything because she was right about the claims. However, I was not contended because despite those she mentioned, if she were someone I knew, I would have recalled her face.

“The following morning, I left for my mother’s house immediately instead”

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