It was confusion galore in Ogere, Remo North local government area of Ogun State, when a-middle-aged Fulani woman, simply identified as Asmau allegedly disappeared with two female children. They were children of the mistress with whom she served as a house help.
•Asmau (middle) and the rescued girls, Amina and Rukayya
Asmau, according to findings had stayed with the mother of the children as a house maid for four months before she bolted away with the two girls, Amina, 6 and Rukayya, 7. She was later arrested in the Ikorodu axis of Lagos State while using them as beggars.
The mother of the children, simply identified as Hawau, told Vanguard that the suspect had been staying with her for over four months, assisting her with some domestic chores while being paid N400 or N500 daily. Narrating her ordeal, mother of the stolen children, further explained that, it all started on the last Muslim festival day, Eid-el Fitr which was held July 6, 2016.
According to her, she had planned to send the children to Lagos for holiday with their grand parents, a move she discussed with her brother, which prompted her brother to visit her during sallah celebrations.
Hawau said: “My brother came to pick them (Amina and Rukayya) but did not meet me and my children at home on Sallah day because we had gone to the Eid ground to pray. He did not wait for me as he left for Lagos. When my children knew that he had come and gone they started crying.
“Asmau used the opportunity and told me she was going to Lagos that day and that she will help me to take them to their grandparents, so, I agreed and asked the children to go with her. After two days, I found out that the children were not at their grandparents’ house, I called the woman but her number was not connecting. I checked her at her house, I did not find her and my children.
“I started to go round to check out till I spent all what I had and yet I did not find them. I then reported to the Sarkin Hausawa of Ogere Alhaji Abdullahi Saminaka, who organised a prayer and informed the people.
“Luckily for me, a woman came to the palace and told the Sarkin that she saw Asmau with my children begging in Ikorodu in Lagos state. So, he (Sarkin) sent his men to go and bring them; one of them, called Ali told us that he found the children with the woman begging for alms in tattered clothes.”
Continuing, she said: “We were also told that the woman removed their new sallah clothes and gave it to one woman, who was a food vendor, in exchange for food. The children told us that the woman used to beat them if they cried or refused to go and beg for alms. She told people, while they went begging for alms that she is their mother.”