Eleven children ,who were allegedly being used for begging by an Ikorodu ,Lagos State based church have been rescued by the police.
One person ,who was identified as a member of the church has also been arrested and is undergoing interrogation with the police .
The state police boss, Fatai Owoseni ,who confirmed the arrest of the suspect and the rescue of the children to newsmen ,said that the police would get to the root of the incident .
The arrested suspect Lois Artinso told newsmen that the church runs an orphanage and a home for the aged people .
The Lagos police chief stated that the police had initially rescued two underaged children,who were seen moving around Ikorodu,begging for alms.
CP Owoseni also added that preliminary investigations by the police led to the rescue of nine other under aged children at the church premises in Elejaro area of Ikorodu .
The police boss also stated that efforts were on to ascertain the involvement of the church in the crime .
The suspect said “I was shocked when the Bishop of the church came to the police to deny me. We go out three times a month to beg for assistance.”
She also added that “It is not as if I leave the children to go on their own. I am saying that the children are too small to speak. They were interrogated by the police and they started talking as if I allow them to go alone.”
The suspect also stated that “ The day I was arrested, I was taking two of the children, to the bank to teach them how to use ATM. It was not as if I took them out for begging.”
Nnoso,one of the rescued children said”We were begging when the Police picked us. We used to go for begging three times a week .People used to give us alms,food items,clothes,shoes and money. We used to hand over the things to Aunty. Aunty loves us.”
He added that “I came to Lagos in company with one of my aunties. She took me to the church and handed me over to the aunty in the church.”
The boy also said that “ My aunty in the church warned that whenever my mother called from the village,I should tell her that I was alright and that I must not tell her that I am in the church. Each time my mummy called,I used to tell her that I was staying in my aunty’s house.”