A middle-aged woman, Hajiya Zainab Salisu, who was accused of kidnapping two babies from different locations in Lagos told the police that she had given birth to a baby who died and that she only wanted to hold her baby again.
But the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, said detectives investigating the matter were not sure if the woman was pregnant before.
However, one Saheed Akinwale, said to be the suspect’s friend, claimed he thought she was pregnant and had given her the sum of N250,000 to aid her safe delivery in a hospital in the United States of America.
“I did not have the intention of stealing any baby, I only wanted my own child. When the kids were with me, I felt I was holding my own kids,” the suspect told Daily Trust at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, where she was being investigated for child theft.
Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, said the suspect would be charged with kidnapping and other offenses once investigation was concluded.
It was gathered that the suspect engaged the mother of one of the babies in a conversation at a market at Sango.
It was also learnt that the suspect followed the woman and her child round some shops in the area and that when the baby became fussy she asked if she could help hold the kid.
Not knowing that the suspect had an ulterior motive, the woman handed over her daughter to the woman, who bolted away with the child.
The mother, Damilola Lawal, ran after the fleeing woman but could not catch up with her because of the crowd in the market, police source said.
Having succeeded in stealing two children from two separate women, the suspect proceeded to conduct child christening for the two of them, it was learnt.
She allegedly also told her neighbours when she moved back to her house that she had a set of twin while she was away.
While she renamed Feyitola as Kehinde, she named Philip as Taiwo, and remained under cover till she was arrested by the police and the real parents of Feyitola were notified.
After her arrest, police discovered that she had earlier abducted another baby boy from another woman.
Badmos said detectives who were tracking her were able to arrest her through a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) of Justrite Stores, where she was last seen in the company of Mrs. Lawal and her baby, Feyitola.
The suspect, Hajiya Zainab, said, “I did not steal the baby. Feyitola’s mother is my friend. I went to their house on May 14 and when she left to get something, I carried her baby and left.”
Speaking, the mother of one of the kids, Damilola Lawal, said she was not friends with the suspect.
She said, “I don’t know her from anywhere, rather she came to my shop claiming to be a supplier of eggs and would love to supply us with some. I agreed.
“Later, she claimed she was new in the area and thus needed a new place of worship and my mother-in-law took her to our church (Christ Apostolic Church).
“After service she followed us home to use the convenience. She later stayed for lunch and then she said she wanted to buy some souvenirs.
“I took her to Justrite Stores at Agege but she ended up not buying. When we were leaving, she offered to assist in carrying my daughter. We boarded a bus and got to Abule Egba and she ran away with my baby.”