Police have arrested the housemaid who kidnapped the Orekoya three children, 24 hours after she was employed last week at Lawanson Road, Itire area of Surulere, Lagos.
She blamed her kidnap activities on her husband.
Her true name is Funmilayo Adeyemi, a mother of four, and not Mary Akinloye as she claimed and she is 35 years old, against the 23 she claimed.
The suspect allegedly masterminded the kidnap of the three children (Demola, 6; Adedamola, 4, and Aderomola, 11 months) with the aid of her husband, Waheed Kareem, her brother in-law, Akeem Kareem and her brother in-law’s wife, Joke Oseni, who are currently on the run.
Preliminary investigation also revealed that her syndicate was responsible for the kidnap of two children last December in Magodo area of the state.
She reportedly kidnapped the children, Raphael and Michael, four days after she applied for the job of nanny through OLX , an online sales portal.
To cover up for their shady deal, her husband, a film producer with the business name Global G Entertainment, reportedly employed his wife, his younger brother, and his sister in-law as markers.
She was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARs, Wednesday, barely 24 hours after the release of the kidnapped Orekoya children at Coker Estate, Shasha.
Arrested alongside Adeyemi, an Ordinary National Diploma holder in Land survey from Osun State Polytechnic, was a teenager later discovered to have been held hostage since November last year.
The teenager, Henrietta Odili, was reportedly lured through a job advert posted on OLX, only to be forced into the syndicate.
Odeyemi pleaded passionately for the Orekoyas in particular and Nigerians in general to forgive her, claiming that she was forced into kidnapping by her husband and her brother in-law.
She said: “My husband led me into this. This is my second attempt. The first was the kidnap of two children in Magodo. I had applied through OLX and four days later, I went away with their two children— Michael and Raphael.
“They were kept in our apartment in Ajah for four days until a ransom of N2 million was paid out of which I got N30,000. We relocated from Ajah to Shasha after the kidnap.
“After I took the Orekoyas children, my husband did the negotiation and I did not know how much was paid as ransom.
“While I was hiding at a hotel, an electrician who repaired a fan for me called and I asked him to wait at a spot and he did. I did not know he was with the police. As they were carrying me way, I saw my husband watching.
“My appeal goes to the Orekoyas. They should forgive me for causing them so much pain. The woman in particular is a nice woman.”
Sixteen-year-old Henrietta Odili, who was arrested alongside Odeyemi, disclosed that she applied for the job of a house help on OLX, only to be invited from Benin, Edo State, by Odeyemi’s brother in-law.
She said on arrival, her phone was taken from her for three months and when they gave it back, it was without its SIM card. She claimed that the family pampered her.
Odili said: “When she brought in the Orekoya children, she said they were Waje’s (a popular singer). I never knew they were kidnappers.
“I helped the family to sell CDs. The name of their company is Global G Entertainment.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Aderanti, said: “After the kids were rescued, I gave further instruction that the brain behind the act must be apprehended at all cost.
“We tracked her down through her phone. We are in pursuit of the other members of the syndicate.
“We learned that within 24 hours of her applying for the job via OLX, she was accepted into their home and they left the whole house, including the children, in her care. Somebody you never knew. It is very surprising.
“OLX will hear from us very soon because they cannot use their portals to endanger lives.”