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14.11.2008 Crime & Punishment

Kidnapper Busted

By Daily Guide

Residents of Maamobi, a suburb of Accra, were in the early hours of yesterday thrown into a state of shock and disgust when news broke that a 25-year-old driver has kidnapped a six-year-old girl.

The suspect, Isaac Mensa, who was being held by the Nima Police, was said to have gained notoriety for being behind series of child abductions in the area.

Isaac was reported to have got the innocent girl (name withheld) to follow him under the pretext of sending her on an errand.

Narrating the incident to DAILY GUIDE , 32-year-old Safura Salifu, mother of the victim said at about 6.00am, the child went out to brush her teeth, adding that it was only when she wanted to bathe her daughter that she realised that the girl was nowhere to be found.

According to Safura, she inquired from other neighbours on the whereabouts of her child but got no answers. It was at this stage that she became alarmed, sensing that something could be amiss.

Continuing, she said one of her neigbours drew her attention to the arrest of a man by a member of the West Maamobi Neigbourhood Watchdog Committee for child kidnapping, whereupon she saw the suspect with her six-year-old daughter.

Interestingly, the suspect's arrest took a new twist when a 32-year-old seamstress, Madam Millicent Addo, who is the mother of one of Isaac Mensa's alleged victims, told DAILY GUIDE that the suspect had in January this year, kidnapped her six-year-old girl in the same vicinity.

The woman, who voluntarily went to the Nima Police Station to press additional charges against the suspect, said Mensa together with another young man, who managed to abscond, kidnapped her child who was on an errand to buy food at Kotobabi, a suburb of Accra.

According to her, she reported the incident to the Kotobabi Police and the suspect was subsequently arrested by a “trotro” driver. He was later handed over to the Kotobabi Police.

The suspect, she said, was hurled to court and subsequently put on remand at the Nsawam Prisons.

“He was supposed to have gone on trial but was spared because I did not have money to transport the suspect to Accra for trial as was requested by the officer handling the case.”

She said it was at that moment that her family members advised her not to pursue the case further since she had to pay for the suspect's transport, and the accused was subsequently released.

Millicent Addo said she was prepared to serve as a witness in the case by providing evidence that the suspect had been involved in an earlier kidnapping case.

Attempts by DAILY GUIDE to speak to the police proved futile as the Nima Police Divisional Crime Officer, DSP Kwaku Duah declined to comment on the matter since according to him, the police was still investigating the case.

Meanwhile, a police medical form had been given to the mother of the victim for the six-year-old to be taken to hospital for examination.  

Earlier reports suggesting that the suspect had put the girl in a sack proved to be untrue, as the man behind the arrest, 18-year-old Alhassan Abdul-Rahim gave his version of the story.

According to him, he was just about preparing to go for a morning football training session when he met the suspect together with the child.

According to him, the suspect displayed an unusual behaviour by beckoning the child to follow him with haste, adding that he later questioned the suspect about where he was taking the child.

Isaac Mensah, he said, told him that they were going to see the father of the child whose name he gave as C.O.

Alhassan said he followed the suspect to C.O's house where his wife denied knowing the six-year-old girl.

The suspect, sensing danger, tried to escape but was arrested by members of the Neigbourhood Watchdog Committee who handed him over to the Nima Police.

Alhaji Abu Hamidu, Chairman of the West Maamobi Watchdog Committee and a former Assembly Member for the area, said his outfit had stepped up its patrols in the area, promising to flush out criminals.

By Abubakar Salifu