Calabar – Luck ran against three persons who allegedly attempted to sell a 10-year-old boy, Mfon Bassey, at the popular Bogobiri area in Calabar, Cross River State, as they were rounded up by officers of the State Security Service, SSS.
The three suspects were arrested on Sunday following a tip-off by one of the persons that wanted to buy the boy when he was taken to Bogobiri, which is populated by the Hausa/Fulani community. But the prospective buyer alerted the SSS when the terms of the deal were allegedly not favourable to him.
The Assistant Director of the SSS in charge of Operations and Intelligence, Mr. Bassey Ntewo, who disclosed this in Calabar, yesterday, said upon receipt of the information, his men were immediately sent to Bogobiri area where arrangements for the transaction were said to have been perfected.
According to him, officers of the SSS arrested the key suspect, (names withheld) a 28-year-old maternal uncle to the boy alongside a watch seller, who allegedly facilitated the sale, and a 35-year-old tailor, who was reportedly ready to buy the boy for N3 million.
The SSS boss said the key suspect claimed to be a dealer in oil palm. Little Mfon Bassey lives with his sick mother, a farmer and native of Ikot Iko in Ibesikpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
On interrogation, the key suspect confessed that he negotiated with the facilitator who had approached him in Eneneje two months ago requesting for human cargo for sale.
He said they settled for N3 million for each human being he brought and that he was asked to bring them to Bogobiri in Calabar.
However, both the alleged facilitator and tailor have denied knowing the key suspect and said they were not attempting to buy the little boy.
-By Johnbosco Agbakwuru