An alleged fraudster who posed as the abductor of the child, Gold Kolawole, stolen from Sotitobire Miracle Centre in Akure, Ondo State, last November, has been arrested by the Ondo State Police Command.
Elike Chubize wanted to dupe the family of the missing child by posing as a kidnapper in custody of the child while demanding for N800,000 as ransom, the police said.
News of the development had filtered into Akure on Friday, after reports were rife that the kidnapper of the child had been found.
Gold Kolawole was abducted on November 10 at the Sotitobire church on a Sunday morning after his parents dropped him off at the children’s department.
Efforts by the police and the State Security Services to unravel the mystery behind his disappearance had failed to yield results.
However, the SSS is prosecuting the founder of the church, Alfa Babatunde, and six other church members for alleged involvement in the abduction of the boy.
The prophet and his other co-suspects were remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre on Friday after the court adjourned till the 5th of February pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
While that was ongoing, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Mr Chibuzor was trying to make some money from the situation, by posing as a kidnapper willing to release the child on the payment of the ransom.
He was said to have been traced and arrested by the police, but was found to be a fraudster who did not have the child in his custody.
Confirming the development, the police public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, said it was untrue that the kidnapper of the child was arrested.
He clarified that the man arrested was a self-acclaimed abductor of the child and was actually not the actual kidnapper.
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“What we have in our custody now is a self-confessed scammer and serial fraudster, one Chibuzor Elike,39years, of Etche town in Cross River, who wanted to take advantage of a bad situation to defraud the people,” said Mr Joseph.
“The man who said he heard about the kidnap of young Gold via the social media confessed that he actually called some people and sent some text messages where he stated that he had Kolawole Gold in his custody and will only release him after collecting N800,000.
“He also confessed that he was not sent by anyone to implicate Pastor Babatunde Alpha of Sotitobire Church as earlier stated in his numerous calls and text messages.
“Finally he said that he was just looking for a cheap way to make money as he knew nothing about the kidnap or the whereabouts of the little boy.”
Mr Joseph further said the suspect would appear in court on January 20.