Missing child of mentally-ill woman found, police probe Ondo orphanage

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The Ondo State Police Command on Tuesday said it had recovered the missing child of a mentally-ill woman who disappeared from the state orphanage in Akure.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Tee-Leo Ikoro, told our correspondent that the police were investigating the orphanage to know how the boy got out in the first place.

Our correspondent learnt that the state Director of Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Oluwaniyi Ogunleye, and the Head of Baby’s Home, one Mrs Anamebor, were arrested and detained over the matter.

PUNCH Metro had exclusively reported that the child’s mother, Olufunke Olajide, disappeared from her family house in Apapa, Lagos, due to mental illness.

After the family’s fruitless search for eight years, the 32-year-old was spotted by a former neighbour in Ofoso community, Ondo State.



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After she was reunited with her family, the community informed her relatives that while she wandered about, she was raped by unknown persons and impregnated.

Her child, named Enitan Oluwaremilekun Akeredolu, was handed over to an official of the Idanre Local Government Area, Mrs Abimbola Babayemi, who took him to the state orphanage in Akure in 2018.

When the family went to the orphanage in February 2021, they were reportedly informed that he had been given out and they should forget about him.

Olufunke’s elder brother, Olusegun, claimed that the director of child development, Ogunleye, told them that the child was given out because the state government stopped funding the orphanage.

The Idanre LGA, which handed over the child to the orphanage, however, denied knowledge of the adoption.



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Olusegun, who raised the alarm on the whereabouts of the baby, later petitioned the Ondo State Commissioner of Police Special Squad headed by ASP Isiaka Ayole.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Oladiran Olawale, had told our correspondent that due process was not followed in the adoption of the child.

The police spokesman, Ikoro, on Tuesday, said the child had been found.

“But we are still investigating the matter. We want to know how he got out in the first place. The permanent secretary has already handed over the investigation to the police and when we are done, we will make our findings public,” he added.

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Funke’s brother, Olajide, who confirmed the development, said her family was excited by the news.



He said Funke, who was already recovering from her illness, had continued to ask for her child.

“They have brought back the child. We were told that he will be returned to the orphanage and after about two weeks, he will be released to us,” he added.

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