40 year old Abigail Nwakamma, popularly known as Madam Cash, has been severally arrested for child theft in Asaba, the Delta state capital. For her continuous children theft, people in Asaba have known her as a child thief and trafficker. But somehow, she has continuously freed herself from the shackles of the police due to the allegation that she knows her way with the law enforcement agents.
This time around, Nwakamma, fondly called Madam Cash, due to her financial standing, stole 7 year old child from Okpanam, a neighbouring community to Asaba. Police reports say she stole the child on August 5, 2016 and with her accomplices, whisked the little child away to Port Harcourt and sold him off to buyers in Ikwerre area of Rivers state. And for 7 months, the 7 year old Moses was in Ikwerre land, forcefully learning a new language and living a strange life.
His grandmother, Mrs. Josephine Okwoezie, told journalists in Asaba that Moses was playing with his sister and cousin when he was deceptively stolen by Madam Cash with biscuit and N200. That was on August 30, 2016.
According to her: “it was between 4 and 4.30pm on that fateful day when one of my children ran to me that there was a group of women, 5 in number in our area. They planted 2 ladies ahead, others stayed around. Madam Cash and her accomplice, Ifeoma Anyadike, were seating in front of a lock up shop near our compound.
“Moses, her elder sister, Deborah and one other cousins were playing around. Ifeoma, Madam Cash’s accomplice, stood up, went to a nearby shop and bought a biscuit.
“She gave it to the first girl and said go, give it to those women. That one said I don’t know you, I am not going. They then gave it to Deborah, the elder sister, she said she can’t go. They now called Moses, gave him N200 and he immediately took those biscuits and ran to the women seating at the other end.
“Immediately Moses moved, Madam Cash and Ifeoma stood up and followed. Then Deborah followed them. Ifeoma then told Deborah, if you follow us, I will deal with you. Deborah now ran inside the house to call her mother. But before the mother could come out, they had gone with Moses, that was six months now on the 30 of August, 2016.”
On the recovery of Moses, she said it was a miracle. Madam Cash, according to her, lives in Okpanam where they themselves also live but she and her fellows are from Anambra state, across the Niger. The case was thereafter reported to the police commissioner who mobilized his men to trace the child thieves.
Somehow, she knew it must be Madam Cash who stole the little child following her antecedent as a known child thief in the area. She was thereafter arrested. But further investigation proved that Madam Cash had 30 other children she had stolenand kept in Ogidi area of Anambra state.
“In that same evening the police left for Ogidi and brought 12 children with a pastor. Moses was not there. We keep running up and down. And as God would have it, two weeks ago, Moses was produced. They dropped him in front of the police headquarters at about 9.30pm.”
Little Moses said over there in Port Harcourt where he was bought by a trafficker from Madam Cash, they lived a very big fenced house. He said: “We were 10 in number there. Each child sleeps in one room without window. In the morning they will take us to school with a tinted glass jeep. In that school, they don’t speak English. They only teach in Ikwerre language.”
Over there in Port Harcourt, his name was changed from Moses Iloba to Chimobi Uchenna. Every morning, they are told to recite their new name and the one that failed to recite the new name is giving some level of beating.
But Madam Cash who is known for the notorious trade, denied ever being involved in the theft of the child. She said: “I don’t know anything about the child. We were in court for a case I had when police came and arrested us. After arresting us, they brought us here. We don’t know why they brought us here. This woman said she had a petition against us. I’m not involved in the kidnap of the boy.”
Ifeoma, her accomplice, said she was not involved in kidnapping of Moses. “I am from Anambra state. I don’t know about this case. I have not stolen anybody’s child before. I was arrested because Madam Cash and me are friends.”
The Delta state commissioner of police, Ibrahim Zanna, described Madam Cash as a popular woman in the area. he said: “You know Abigail Nwakamma, the popular Madam Cash, she is back again in full force and her cohort.
“She had returned to her trade after being released from prison. We are discussing with the State Commissioner for Justice on how she came out of prison. The unfortunate thing is that 11 children are yet to be accounted for. We are at a lost on how she got off the hook.”
The police commissioner further said the buyers of Moses in Port Harcourt are being trailed and must definitely be brought to justice.