Anxiety in the families of three friends, Veronica Otogo, Bisola Mohammed and Damilola Oribuyaku, as birthday turned mourning. The three friends were allegedly kidnapped by yet-to-be-identified men in Wuse II, FCT Abuja.
Veronica was reported to have celebrated her 24th birthday on Friday and had gone to Cold Stone creamery in Kumasi Crescent Wuse II, with her friend, Mohammed, around 6pm.
It was gathered that they drove a Highlander, which had also yet to be found, to the creamery.
But a CRV owned by 29-year-old Damilola, was found near the place with a broken windscreen, which gave an impression that the three friends had met and were kidnapped at the spot.
Mohammed was said to have travelled from Lagos, where she lives, to visit Veronica in Abuja.
Veronica’s elder sister, Geraldine Otogo, said, Damilola had sent a birthday message to Veronica a few hours before she and Mohammed left for Cold Stone.
She said, “They have not been found and we have not heard anything about their whereabouts. I have a shop in Wuse II. We came back from the shop around 5pm and bought cake and some other things for the family. Bisola (Mohammed), who came to visit Veronica from Lagos, said she wanted to buy cake for Veronica. They left for Cold Stone to get the cake at about 6pm.
“My house is in Dawaki. My thought was that if they were going to Cold Stone, it should be the one in Gwarinpa. I never knew they could go to Wuse II. They were with one Damilola at Cold Stone. I don’t think he is Veronica’s friend because she had never mentioned his name to me before. I also asked her friends here in Abuja; none of them could identify Damilola as her friend. Probably, he is Bisola’s friend.
“Damilola is also missing, but his family had found his car opposite Cold Stone with a broken windscreen. A lady called me at about 11pm yesterday (Saturday) and said her friend actually saw Bisola, Veronica and Damilola at Cold Stone in Wuse II on Friday. A man also called me that his brother (Damilola) was missing.”
Geraldine added that the incident was reported at Zone 4, Maitama and Gwarinpa police stations.
Damilola’s sister, Jumoke Oribuyaku, said the victims were probably whisked away by abductors in Veronica’s Jeep, adding that her brother never had a disagreement with anyone.
She said, “We don’t have information about his whereabouts for now, but we have been able to establish that he had a connection with two other girls (Veronica and Mohammed). They got missing at the same spot. Veronica was celebrating her birthday and he left his place of work.
“We were able to find out that he sent a message to Veronica that day to wish her a happy birthday. We found his car vandalised around Cold Stone. So, we thought whoever did that probably put three of them in another vehicle. Veronica and Damilola are friends.”
When contacted to know whether the management of Cold Stone was aware of the incident, an official, who declined to give her name, said, “No comment sir. Thank you; have a wonderful day.”
The Police Public Relations Officer for the FCT Command, ASP Anjuguri Menzah, said investigations had commenced into the case.
He said, “We received a report of a case of missing persons. We have opened up investigations at various divisions where complaints were lodged. The command’s Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department is coordinating the investigation process.”