An unnamed woman has allegedly abducted an 18-month-old baby at a Catholic Church in Awada, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The victim, Chibuike Ezechukwu, was reportedly stolen from a housemaid during offering.
The Nation gathered that the suspect had pleaded with the housemaid carrying the baby to help her drop her offering, while she held the baby.
A parishioner, who spoke in confidence, said the housemaid innocently handed over the baby to her without an inkling about the woman’s intentions.
She said: “She offered to help her hold the child but before the housemaid returned from the offering, the woman had absconded with the baby.”
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Police spokesperson Haruna Mohammed, a Superintendent of Police (SP), confirmed the incident.
He said detectives had visited the scene, adding that efforts were on to apprehend the fleeing suspect and recover the child.
He said: “On the June 9 at 2:30 p.m, Mr. Olisachukwu Ezechukwu (M) of 1 Orakwe Close, Awada, reported at Awada Police Station that on the same date at 1:40 p.m, his housemaid, Ukwuoma Ruth (F), 16, went to a church at Awada with his son, Master Chibuike Ezechukwu, 18 months old.
“The complainant alleged that during offering inside the church, the housemaid handed over his son to a yet-to-be identified lady who sat beside her and equally gave her N100 for offering.
“However, by the time she (the housemaid) came back from the altar to sit, she discovered that the lady had disappeared with the child.”
Mohammed advised members of the public to be wary of the new pattern of child theft and report suspicious persons to the nearest police station for prompt action.
“Religious leaders are equally enjoined to take adequate security measures at their places of worship to avert this type of ugly trend,” he added.