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The abduction of the 14-year old Ifesinachi Ani, a Secondary School (SS) 2 student of Government Secondary School, Apo Resettlement, Abuja, six months ago, took a new twist as her abductors made chilling revelations on their modus operandi.
This is even as The AUTHORITY on Sunday gathered that the major linkman to the abductors, one Baba Abdul, has been released from police detention, fueling speculation of pressure on the police from powerful quarters.
The AUTHORITY had disclosed yesterday how Baba Abdul’s wife severally threatened to deal with Ifesinachi’s mother whenever her husband is released.
Ifesinachi’s mother who ran to our office out of fear for her life, informed us that ever since this medium made the abduction of her daughter public, several people have been coming to nearby Baba Abdul’s residence, telling her that they will deal with her and also pointing fingers at her residence.
Over the weekend, some persons claiming to be members of the Igbo Muslim Community based in Kano State denied abducting Ifesinachi, insisting they merely took her to Kano in order to protect her from persecution by her mother because she “converted” to Islam.
The revelations were uncovered when the Igbo Muslims led by their acclaimed patron, Mohammed Suleiman, came in their numbers to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command in solidarity with the abductors who were moved from the Central Police Station, Uwani, Enugu to Abuja.
Suleiman, who claimed to be an indigene of Osu Local Government Area of Imo State, gave his Igbo name as Ike Ezenwa, and appears to be in his late 50s. He said he was converted to Islam in Kazaure, Jigawa State in 1993.
Also on the delegation was another claimant to the post of Secretary of the body, one Nur Azubuike Onuora. He claims to be an indigene of Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State; and one Sadiya Mohammed whose Igbo name is Angelene Ude, an indigene of Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and said to be the mother of Igbo Muslim Community in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Also in the delegation was the kingpin of the Igbo Muslin Community in Kano, Hajiya Ibrahim who claims to be Igbo. She is said to be the financier and caretaker of all Igbo Muslim converts in Kano.
The AUTHORITY on Sunday could not, however ascertain the Igbo name of one of the ladies whose name was simply given as Amina and her state of origin as she was busy responding to questions from investigators.
Findings by our reporters shows that she is a successful business woman and pays the school fees of all Igbo young girls who allegedly claim to have converted to Islam through whatever means and also claims to be responsible for taking care of them before they grow up to maturity and become independent either by getting married or starting up their own businesses.
Speaking with The AUTHORITY on Sunday at the FCT Police Command, the Patron of the group, Suleiman, said that the story making the rounds that Ifeasinachi was abducted was not true although he could not explain how a teenager disappeared and emerged as a converted Muslim without the consent of her mother who was training her in school.
He could also not explain why their scouts usually surreptitiously meet at Baba Abdul’s residence at Apo, where he accepted they met the girl, before taking her to an undisclosed mosque in Mararaba, another part of Abuja, before finally moving her to Kano still without the consent or knowledge of her mother.
But maintaining his line of argument, Suleiman told our reporter that “when Ifesinachi saw the light and converted to Islam, she was persecuted by her mother and she even threatened to kill her”.
Asked how they got the audacity to call a women whose child disappeared, telling her not to worry, he could not offer any explanation but in stout defence of their woman leader, he said “we don’t know who gave her (Ifesinachi) the phone number of our mother in Kano (Hajiya Amina) and she told her that her mother wanted to kill her because she decided to become a Muslim.
“Our mother (referring to Hajiya Amina) then came to Abuja and picked her up from Mararaba where she was hiding and took her to Kano for safekeeping.
“When she took her to Kano, she enrolled her in a private school and paid her school fees amounting to N11,000”, thus confirming our earlier stories that the syndicate runs an abduction school.
He however, could also not explain why they did not deem it fit to contact the police over the purported threat to the life of Ifesinachi as claimed and why they still did not get back to the exasperated mother and discuss or obtain her consent before deciding to keep the girl with them, until they saw the stories being published in The AUTHORITY newspapers.
When asked if Ifeasinachi was the only girl collected by Hajiya Amina, the patron of the body said “God has blessed her business so she takes care of any Igbo young girl who converts to Islam. She has taken care of uncountable number of girls from our part of the country. There are several of them”.
Sulaiman disclosed that there are over 2000 Igbo Muslims in Kano and that they are doing well.
Sounding unrepentant and in proof that Ifesinachi’s case was not just peripheral, he added that “since we have discovered that Islam is the true religion, we are going to launch a massive campaign so that our people will join us to this religion”.
He added that the group learnt that the media were awash with “insinuations” that Ifeasinachi was abducted, which was why they sent the delegation to take her to her parents, but did not explain why they took her to Enugu rather than Abuja where they took her from.
He said that inspite of media and public condemnation of their actions, “Insha Allah, we will overcome this”.
Providing insight into how they obtained the services of two lawyers who seem to be enjoying VIP treatment at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the FCT Command, he claimed that the lawyers were being sponsored by the Kastina State Branch of the Igbo Muslim Community.
On her part, one Angelene who claimed that her Muslim name is Sadiya, disclosed that she came to represent the Zaria Branch of the Igbo Muslim Community in the matter.
According to her, “I was taken to the North when I was very young; grew up there and got married and I now have several children (she does not know the number)”.
Sadiya, who does not seem to be perturbed by what her group did, expressed the confidence that she and her colleagues will be vindicated at the end of the day.
However, our sources informed us that the so-called Igbo delegates were being sponsored by some powerful forces who had already assured them that they would neither be found culpable of any misdemeanor nor prosecuted for taking a minor away from her parents or converting her to Islam.
Our team of investigators could also not ascertain whether or not any of the suspects stayed back at the command headquarters as sources informed us that immediately the team of lawyers from the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) left the place, all the suspects and Ifesinachi were released on self-recognition and asked to come back next week Monday.
We further learnt that they all moved to a mosque somewhere in Mararaba in nearby Nasarawa State, which is where they have been operating from.
IFESINACHI: Lanky frail-looking Ifesinachi, who adorned traditional long skirt with white head tie which she used to wrap her head and shoulders, behaved like a person under hypnotism when The AUTHORITY on Sunday saw her.
She was however given special treatment by the delegation of so-called ‘brothers’, who ran helter skelter whenever she requested for anything, like when she wanted to visit the convenience.
On sighting her mother, Ifesinachi looked unperturbed and sat firmly on the chair provided for her by the Investigating Police Officers (IPOs), but stared at the floor. When her mother asked her if she recognized her, Ifesinachi responded in the affirmative, calling her ‘my mother’.
She however, tried frantically to exonerate Baba Abdul from any form of complicity in the abduction saga, insisting that she was never abducted. She also told her mother that she was born in 1999, and not in 2001 as stated by her mother, which led to argument between them.
Ifesinachi, maintained that “I have seen the light” and was being harassed by the news media publications reporting that she was abducted and forcefully converted to Islam.
When she was informed that the Enugu State Government offered her scholarship, full social security and medicare, she said she would prefer to continue with her Islamic studies and that she has nothing to do with her mother, who she accused of maltreating her.
He was at the FCT Police Command and informed our reporters that he was being taken care of by the Islamic Community delegation from Kano and that they have been staying at the mosque in Mararaba and come to the police headquarters along with them.
He was more interested in discussing marital dispute between him and Ifesinachi’s mother and seemed less interested in what was happening to his daughter.
When asked why he failed to look for his daughter since information got to him that she had been abducted, he told The AUTHORITY on Sunday that “since the woman said she would remain in Abuja, it is up to her and so, this issue is her business”.
He however could not offer any intelligible plans for the future of his daughter but was grateful to the Enugu State Government’s intervention and offer of scholarship to her.
IFESINACHI’S MOTHER: Mrs. Rachael Ani, mother of the abducted girl, was dumbfounded seeing her daughter dressed like a Muslim. She was also shocked that her daughter “is looking at me morosely and I have no doubt she is under a spell.
“My daughter, who has been with me since birth has been made to even engage me in argument over her date of birth. I was shocked she could pretend to be more accustomed to complete strangers than me, her biological mother.
“Although she acknowledged I am her mother, you could see that she did not behave as if I was her mother, who has been looking for her for over six months when she saw me enter the police office.
“At least, I am grateful to God for rescuing my daughter from the hands of her abductors. I am very grateful to the management and editors of The AUTHORITY newspapers and other journalists who have assisted me to publicise my cries. God will reward all of you.
“As for the Enugu State Governor, I lack words to express my joys over the scholarship offered my daughter. I want government to also assist me because I can see clearly that I am being intimidated by this cartel of abductors. They are bold, daring and have been threatening to deal with me.
“I don’t even understand why they would still be the ones taking care of my daughter when they should have all been languishing in the prison. The Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police should not let them go scot-free. If they do, these people will wreck several other families as we heard them boast they will do. I am grateful to these officers for assisting me. God will bless them. As for the other officers, I don’t know what to say,”
Refusing to comment on the issues raised by Mr. Sunday Ani who she maintained is her husband’s senior brother, she however, lamented that her daughter’s abductors were taking advantage of the poverty in her family to torment them and bring disaffection into her family, pointing out that God will take control and resolve all those problems.