Residents of Shasha, Alimosho area of Lagos were shocked after an identified man stole a four-year-old girl, Favour Anani, through the window net
while asleep with her mother in their home. Information has it that Favour and her mother, Janet, a trader, were sleeping around 4am on the fateful day when an unknown hand tore through the net of their one room apartment and snatched the child from the bed. The 20-year-old mother of three was said to have raised the alarm on discovering her child had been missing. Despite intense search by residents of Yahaya Street where the incident happened, the girl could not be located. The matter was said to have been reported at the Shasha Police Division, and was subsequently transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba for investigation. Although the culprit could not be identified, the mother of the victim was said to have told policemen she suspected a neighbour who had been showing interest in the girl and had joked that he would marry her off to his homeland in Akwa Ibom State. Our correspondent learnt that the suspect, Sunday Thomas, a bus conductor, had on the day preceding the incident played with Favour, and other kids in the neighbourhood. His brother, Friday, who was on a visit and was with him, had expressed admiration for little Favour to the delight of her mother. Meanwhile also gathered that after Sunday was arrested and was asked to locate his brother, he said he did not know his whereabouts. Sunday, an Ibibio, was arrested and arraigned before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s court on two counts of child stealing. The charge reads in part, “That you, Sunday Thomas, and others at large, on May 26, 2014 at about 4am, at Yahaya Street, Shasha, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire together to commit felony to wit; child stealing. “That you did steal one Favour Anani, a female, aged four years.” The police prosecutor, Etim Ekankuk, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the offence was punishable under sections 231 and 275 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011. Sunday said he was not guilty of the charge and elected summary trial. His defence counsel urged the court to admit him to bail in liberal terms as he was still presumed innocent in the eyes of the law. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. A.A. Demi-Ajayi, admitted him to bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties, each in like sum. She added that the sureties must depose to an affidavit of means, their addresses verified and the sum of N25, 000 deposited in the account of the Chief Registrar of the state’s high court, pending the conclusion of the case. The matter was adjourned till August 4, 2014.