Two toddlers in Ketu, Lagos State, who were declared missing on January 25, 2013 have been found dead in an abandoned vehicle on the premises of a building next to theirs on Taike Street.
PUNCH Metro had on January 30, 2013, reported story of the kids – Toheeb Adedokun (three) and Tajudeen Falilu ( three).
The family as well as the police had suspected that they were kidnapped before the discovery of their remains on Monday.
Our correspondent learnt that the vehicle in which the children were found was a Honda Pilot Sports Utility Vehicle, which was used as collateral.
According to a police theory, the children went into the vehicle but were trapped inside, causing them to suffocate.
The Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said the corpses were discovered by bank officials, who had gone to redeem the vehicle.
She said, “On Monday, at about 4:30pm, one Phillip Odi in company with Julius Odetola, both of whom are employees of Berachah Microfinance Bank, reported that on the same day, they received a text message from Macdonabi Jones Enterprise Limited, a customer of the bank, who pledged his Honda Pilot as collateral.
“The bank employees said on reaching the house located at 20 Taike Street, where the vehicle was parked, they discovered the corpses of the two children.”
The tragic news, however, did not go down well with residents of the street as they alleged foul play.
Our correspondent, who visited the children’s parents, learnt that the occupants of the house where the corpses were found had fled for fear of being attacked.
Some residents told PUNCH Metro that the occupants of the building had a case to answer.
One of them , who identified herself as Iya Basira said, “How could two corpses be in a compound for over a month and no one smelt any odour?
“We looked for these children for weeks and even the occupants of that building were aware that the children were missing.”
Our correspondent observed as residents pursued one of the occupants of the building, who was strolling down the road.
“Go away, we don’t want you in our neighbourhood”, they shouted.
It was learnt that earlier, an occupant of the building had to come with two policemen to be able to take some of her properties from her apartment.
It was also learnt that the vehicle had been taken to the Special-Anti Robbery Squad, Ikeja.
The parents of the toddlers and other members of the family said they planned pursuing the case to a logical conclusion.
Toheeb’s mother, Adijat, said the death of the children was controversial because on the day they went missing, the said vehicle was not parked in the compound.
She said, “I went to that compound to look for them. On getting there, I saw a neighbour, Sir Kay’s wife. Sir Kay is into rental service and he is also a teacher. His wife told me she saw the two children that day. I didn’t see that vehicle in the compound because I looked around.”
Asked how she heard about the death of the toddlers, she said, “Some policemen came to me this morning (Tuesday) and asked if I was the mother of one of the missing children. They showed me pictures of the children and told me to point to mine which I did. They asked me to describe the clothes my child wore that day and I told them that he wore polo shirt (army colour mixed with red) with shorts. They asked for the clothes the second person wore and I told them.
“They told the fathers of the kids to follow them but we (women) were told to go back as we might not be able to withstand the shock. When I saw my husband’s face, I knew the worst had happened.”
Our correspondent, who went round the building, a bungalow with three flats, learnt that the landlord was late and the tenants had not returned.