Kidnapper Strangles Seven-Year-Old Victim to Death

A suspected kidnapper, Patrick Onyeka, was on Tuesday paraded by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a seven-year-old boy, identified simply as Ayuba.


Onyeka, a part time footballer and marketer of aluminum frames, was until his arrest last Thursday, living with his elder brother at Mumako Estate, Ikotun.

Onyeka’s brother’s residence shared a fence with that of Ayuba’s parents.

On January 12, Ayuba was said to have innocently walked into the compound where Onyeka lived. Unknown to little boy’s parents and other neighbours, Onyeka lured him into the house and strangled him to death with his bare hands.

He thereafter concealed the body in a sack before dumping it in a septic tank in an uncompleted building about 200 metres away from his brother’s home.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide, said, “While neighbours thronged the home of Ayuba’s parents to sympathise with them over Ayuba’s sudden disappearance, Onyeka also came to visit ostensibly to offer his sympathies.

“No one thought he could be connected to the kidnapping until a note appeared on the gate of Ayuba’s parents’ house, demanding N5m as ransom for Ayuba. There was also a phone number by which the kidnapper could be reached.

“Although the handwriting was unrecognisable to all the neighbours and the victim’s parents, Onyeka’s elder brother recognised it.

“He became suspicious of his brother’s activities and subsequently reported his fears to Ikotun police division.”

Acting on the tip off, Onyeka was immediately arrested but it wasn’t until the case was transferred to the Special Anti Robbery Squad, Ikeja five days later that he confessed to the crime and led a team of SARS operatives to the uncompleted building where Ayuba’s decomposed body was found.

Onyeka had earlier denied involvement in Ayuba’s disappearance. Instead he blamed another neighbor, Jamiu, who was friendly with the deceased, claiming that he had seen Ayuba with Jamiu that Saturday.

Jamiu was, however, able to prove that he wasn’t in Lagos on the said date.

Braide said, “He (Jamiu) had travelled to Kogi State and did not return until some days after the kidnapping. He had some bank slips with him which showed that he withdrew some money in Kogi. It was after Jamiu was able to establish his innocence that the investigating SARS team focused their attention on Onyeka.”

But a remorseful Onyeka said it was probably his desperation to make money that led him into trouble.

He said, “I don’t know what led me to commit this crime if not the urge to make quick money. I actually had no idea what Ayuba’s parents did for a living but I felt they were rich because they had about four cars.

“I had to kill the boy because he knew me and if I had let him go, he would have told everyone in the neighbourhood that I was the person who kidnapped him.

“I never collected any ransom from his parents. I changed my mind about it.”

Braide said the the body of the victim had been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital for autopsy.

“Investigations have already been concluded and the suspect would be charged to court for murder,” she said.