Residents of Ipaja, in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State were held spell bound on Thursday as a middle aged woman deposited an infant in exchange for a N1,500 worth of cow meat at the Ipaja main market.
The unidentified woman had approached one Alhaji Oseni, a popular butcher and meat seller in the market, under the guise that she wanted to buy meat, only to disappear into thin air after the transaction.
The woman who had ostensibly done her home work thoroughly before effecting the strike, had approached Oseni, accosted with the infant of about three years old, posing as a customer who wanted to buy meat.
After a thorough negotiation, which later culminated to a settlement for N1,500 for the chunk of meat, the impostor woman ransacked her bag, pretending to be looking for her purse that was never there, after which she begged Oseni to allow her dash home for the purse while leaving the infant with him to watch over.
The unsuspecting meat seller agreed to the demand while the woman bolted away with the meat while the innocent infant waited with Oseni and other sellers around, gaping in silence in the strange environment.
Suspicion however crept in when the woman who had promised a prompt return was expected for about an hour without return.
Oseni who had been engrossed in transactions was pricked into consciousness, causing him to raise conversation on the deal between him and the woman who had disappeared without return as promised.
The narration triggered suspicions in some of the market women who decided to go some steps further to unravel who the little infant, who had been in their custody for so long, was.
Their investigation was quick to yield result. A passerby who saw the infant as she was being led into the adjoining streets for identification spotted her and identified her to be Agnes, a neighbour’s daughter.
On getting to Agnes’ residence on No 3, Tobi Okusanya Street, Ipaja, Oseni was taken aback when the agitated original mother of Agnes came face to face with him,
The visibly depressed woman had sent Agnes to buy a N20 worth of sugar from a Mallam’s shop when she fell prey to the impostor woman.
In a related development, a fruit seller who had gone to buy two loads of fruits at Ile Epo Market, also in Alimosho Local Government Area, had one of her consignments carted away at the threshold of the Ile Epo pedestrian bridge where she kept it.
The woman who would not want her name mentioned, had engaged a cart pusher to carry one of her loads to her trading point while leaving the other with a co-cart pusher, pending the off loading of the first consignment.
The woman was thrown into confusion when she returned only to found that her wares had disappeared while the person she entrusted it with was also nowhere to be found.
All the noise she made with her husband who came to join her on the spot minutes after, yielded no result.
By Gboyega Adeoye