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Police summon orphanage owner over girl found in Edo

Police summon orphanage owner over girl found in Edo

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Alexander Okere

The proprietress of a centre, God’s Own Orphanage in Benin City, Edo State, has been invited by the police over the discovery of a missing four-year-old girl, Elo Ogidi, in the facility.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the yet-to-be identified woman was invited by the state police command to explain her connection with the girl.

Elo was said to have been found in the children’s home on Friday, after six weeks of her reported disappearance during a church service she attended with her parents at the Christ Embassy in Oregun, Lagos.

Her father, Okpogene, stated that the family was notified when her daughter was sighted in the orphanage.

It was gathered that some security operatives stormed the children’s home on Friday, following a tip-off, but could not find the owner, who was said to be away in Delta State.

Our correspondent gathered that some of the workers were later arrested while Elo was kept under care.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, said on Saturday that the proprietress would be made to face the law if found culpable.

Kokumo stated, “The proprietress of the orphanage is yet to be seen. On arrival of our men yesterday (Friday), we learnt that she travelled to somewhere in Delta State.

“We really need to talk to her. She needs to tell us how she came in contact with the child. She has her own story to tell. From there, we will be able to determine our next line of action. She has been formally invited. If she is culpable, we will not hesitate to process her through the judiciary.”

The commissioner noted that efforts were ongoing to properly identify the family of the girl in order to avoid any mix-up.

He said, “I want the people referred to as the parents to actually see the girl. What we have done so far is to take the photograph of the little girl and forward it to the church. I want them to see the little girl because there could be a resemblance. It is good for the parents to come to be able to identify their daughter.”

Kokumo also denied the arrest of any employee of the orphanage. He stated, “Nobody was arrested; there was a sizable number of ladies attending to the children in the orphanage. Since she (Elo) is a little girl, we do not want a situation where nobody would be able to attend to her needs.

“That was why we picked one of the ladies to be able to attend to the little girl’s needs. The person that was brought with the little girl was not in any way arrested.”

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