Saturday PUNCH learnt that a young woman had acted as a relative of the girl and gone to the church premises on Sunday, May 5, 2018, while the service was ongoing.
The stranger reportedly asked a boy she met on the premises to help her call Ndukwe from the children’s section of the church.
She was said to have lured the boy back to the church with some money while she feigned a discussion with Ndukwe. She fled with the girl before the boy could return to the premises.
The mother of the girl, Dominica Ireke, told our correspondent that her daughter attended the church that day in company with her grandmother, who became worried around 12:00pm when she expected the six-year-old to join her at the main hall of the church.
Ireke said, “We worship at Christian Pentecostal Mission. I personally dressed her for the church that day before she went with my mother. The church has a children’s section where she attends. The service ended around 12:00pm and she was supposed to move over to where my mother was.
“After a while, my mother went to look for her and found out that she was missing. We searched everywhere for her throughout that day. The next day, I went back to the church. A small boy of about eight years old said he saw a slim, fair-complexioned lady wearing a low haircut. He said the woman told him to go and call J-J’s younger sister, which is Success.
“The boy said he went with Success to meet the woman and that when he asked the girl if she knew the lady, she said no. The woman then gave him money to take inside the church as offering. When he came out again, he found out that the woman had gone away with Success.”
Ireke, a single mother of three, further explained that two women confirmed to have seen the abductor with Success, but it never occurred to them that she had a sinister motive.
At the Uratta Police Division where the case was reported, the victim’s mother said the boy, a lady she suspected as well as the women, were invited for interrogation.
She stated that, “The women said they asked the abductor what she was doing with Success but did not probe her further because she sounded rude. The police asked the boy if the lady he suspected was the one who abducted Success. He said no.”
The grandfather of the victim, who identified himself only as Jacob, said he was amazed when he received the news of the abduction.
He said, “The mother called me recently about the school fees of Ndukwe and her brother and I promised to get back to her. My wife called the mother to come and collect the money for their school fees and upkeep; that was when she knew about the abduction.”
The Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said he was not available to comment on the incident on health grounds and directed our correspondent to the state Commissioner of Police, Michael Ogbizi, for comment.