The police have said two young brothers, who went missing a month ago in the Solomade, Ikorodu area of Lagos State and were found in Ogun State last Saturday, ran away from home.
The police said the boys ─ Daniel and Channing Odugbo ─ had slept with a 13-year-old member of their church and got her pregnant, adding that their escape was planned to avoid the victim’s family.
Police officials, attached to the Igbogbo division, who spoke with PUNCH Metro on Thursday, said Daniel’s father, Moses Odugbo, informed them at the station that one of the missing teenagers sent a text message to him (Moses), apologising for running away.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Daniel and Channing went missing after they were sent on separate errands on September 9.
Their parents had alleged that while looking for them, policemen from the Igbogbo division collected N4,500.
The two boys were found on Saturday close to the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s Redemption Camp.
Their father, Moses, told our correspondent that the victims were under medication due to what they had gone through in the hands of their abductors.
But the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Igbogbo division said Moses was trying to cover up for the misdeed of his children.
He said, “What really happened was that the two boys slept with a 13-year-old girl and she became pregnant. The girl was a member of their church and they did not report it to any station.
“But the girl’s parents were always going to their house and making trouble with the family. So, it was in the heat of that that the boys fled the house.
“The man claimed that he came here to report and he was not allowed to see me. He claimed that somebody collected money from him, which was false because my doors are always open.”
The DPO said he later took over the case and found out that the victims were sighted around Ogoja Road, a place near their hometown.
He said he called Moses to give him the information, but he dismissed it.
“A few days later, he called that he had found them on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. I asked him to bring them on Tuesday and he promised to do that. I was surprised when I read in the paper that the boys were not in good condition and were mentally unstable,” he added.
A policewoman at the station told PUNCH Metro that Moses had informed her that one of the teenagers sent him a text message, saying he was not missing.
She said, “He showed me the text message. We never asked for money for signals because there is no way he can afford to pay for signals.
“It was one of his friends that came with him to the station that later told us the boys defiled somebody and that was why they fled the house.”
PUNCH Metro called Moses to respond to all the allegations, but his phone rang out.
When our correspondent visited the Odigbos, Regina denied the police allegations, adding that it was a relative that was involved in the pregnancy mess and had been sent back to the village.
She added that the family had decided to take the children to the police station. Regina said she was still recovering from shock of the “whole drama,” and showed PUNCH Metro the drug she had been using.
Daniel said, “I had gone to withdraw N5, 000, but the ATM stopped dispensing cash when it got to my turn. I left the place and I saw Channing where he was buying milk. We decided to go to another bank together.
“We were returning home when a man beckoned on us and asked for the direction to a street. That was the last thing I can remember.”
Channing also said he suddenly saw himself on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with his brother.
Residents also confirmed that there was indeed a pregnancy issue, adding that the teenagers were not involved.
A resident said, “Yes, there was a nephew of theirs from Port Harcourt, who was living with them. The man was the one who impregnated the girl from their church.
“The man ran away and we have not seen him. I am not sure it had anything to do with the boys’ disappearance.”