In a suburb of Calabar metropolis, the capital of Cross River State, neighbours of 40-year-old Monday Okon Inyang, are in shock, following news of his alleged attempt to sell his 11-year-old son, David Monday Inyang, for the sum N100,000 to an Alhaji in the Bogobiri area of the state capital.
Operatives from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Cross River State Police Command, arrested the suspect, when the supposed buyer, (name concealed), demonstrated patriotism and aversion to child trafficking by alerting the police that Inyang, who hails from Itu Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, had offered to sell his son to him.
The sordid story began in June, 2015, when the young boy voluntarily confessed to his father that he was bewitched and possessed by an evil spirit, which had worked through him to cause his misfortune. He also begged the father to forgive him for all the trouble he had unwittingly caused him, while under the influence of the evil spirit.
An elder in the neighbourhood, Mr. Bassey Joseph, who spoke disclosed discomfiture over the incident. He said: “It is quite unfortunate that such ugly incident occurred in our community. The boy confessed to the father he is a wizard, and he took him to various churches for prayer and deliverance. He even took him to some herbalists to exorcise the evil spirit.”
But somehow, the devil added a dangerous twist to the ugly situation, and planted an evil idea in the head of his father, who decided to sell him off, and subsequently approached the Alhaji on June 22, 2015, to consummate the intent.
It was gathered from the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Mr Henry Fadairo, while pretending to be interested in the proposal Alhaji struck a “deal” with Inyang, agreeing to “buy” the boy. With the agreement reached, he told Inyang to wait briefly for him to get to the bank and withdraw the agreed sum of N100,000. Quickly, he ran to the Police Area Commander for Akim and reported what transpired between him and Inyang.
Immediately, police detectives followed him to his office, where they arrested Inyang and took him along with his son, to the office of the Commissioner of Police. The boy recounted to the Fadairo how he had confessed to his father that he was a wizard and appealed to him for forgiveness.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Calabar, Mr. Ganiyu Salami disclosed that the suspect had confessed that he attempted to sell his son, added that the matter was still being investigated.
Feeling very fortunate that providence used the Alhaji to thwart his father’s attempt to sell him, the boy expressed strong desire not to be allowed to return to his father, if the police resolved to grant his father bail.
The community elder, Joseph, said neighbours in the community fully concurred with the boy’s desire. Their position won over the police, who then released the boy into the custody of the father’s younger brother.
The suspect said that he was still unable to explain how he took the horrible decision to sell his son . He said: “I don’t know what came over me. I am still dazed. My wife left me in 2005 and abandoned our four children, when I had a major problem. I have one boy and three girls. I am struggling to survive. David confessed to me that he was a wizard and the cause of my agony in life.
He pleaded for forgiveness. As a concerned father, I took him to various churches and traditional herbalists to cure him. Really, I don’t know what happened to me and I decided to take my son to one Alhaji in Bogobiri area, of Calabar and sold him for N100,000.00 naira to him. While I was waiting for the money, Alhaji came with policemen to arrest me in his office. I have regretted what I have done. When my son confessed, I should have forgiven him. It was wickedness that landed me into this problem. I pray that my son would forgive me for the evil thing I tried to do, by wanting to sell him.” -The Sun