It has been reported that the family members of a nine-year-old boy, Abdulmalik Atobatele, are in distress after his sudden disappearance from Durosimi Street, in the Somolu area of Lagos, where he lives with his father.
According to Punch Metro, the victim was said to have been sent by his elder brother, Abdullahi Atobatele, to buy sugar at a shop on the street around 7am on Saturday, February 10, but did not return home.
The shop owner reportedly said he did not see Abdulmalik, while the family searched for him around the community.
Punch Metro reports that the victim was brought to Lagos about a month ago from Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he was living with his mother.
Abdullahi told Punch Metro that Abdulmalik had been running errands within the street since he arrived in Lagos without hitches.
He added that the case was reported to the police at the Alade and Pedro divisions.
He said, “He went to buy sugar on our street, but did not come back home. I met with the Hausa man from whom he went to buy the sugar; the man said he did not see him. Nobody has contacted us on his whereabouts.
“That was not the first time he would run an errand. He relocated from Abeokuta in January. We have reported the incident at different police stations. The police collected his details and promised to take action. He is nine years old.”
Abdulmalik’s father, Alhaji Semiu Atobatele, said he believed the child was abducted and appealed to his captors to release him to the family.
He said, “The place he went to buy the sugar is just some distance away from our house. We are not suspecting anybody, but we are appealing to whoever is holding him hostage to have mercy on us. We are worried. His mother has also come to Lagos to join us in the search.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, said investigation had started into the matter.