The police in Lagos are battling to find a 13-year-old girl, Chikwuo Ezennia, who reportedly fled her house with a yet-to-be-identified man, suspected to be her lover.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Ezennia, who is in Basic 4, had come to Lagos from Nneni village in the Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State to spend her holiday with her relatives.
Our correspondent gathered that the girl, however, fled her relatives’ apartment on Ishola Bello Close, Iyalla Street, Alausa, Lagos, in the afternoon of Thursday, November 20, when the family had gone out.
It was gathered that when the girl’s aunt, Mrs. Ambrose Okolo, and her husband returned from work at about 6pm, Ezennia was nowhere to be found.
Our correspondent gathered that during the initial search for her, some neighbours told the Okolos that they saw the teenager walking away with a man in the afternoon.
Ezennia was said to have told the neighbours that her aunt maltreated her and had travelled away for a week. Hence, she would be staying with a friend during that period.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the family reported the matter at the Alausa Police Division the following day. It was gathered that the police invited some persons, who allegedly saw the girl, for interrogation.
Our correspondent gathered that Ezennia, who speaks only Igbo fluently, was supposed to return to her village by the end of December. It was further learnt that Ezennia had a record of fleeing home to stay with men when she was in the village in Anambra.
When PUNCH Metro visited the apartment on Tuesday, Okolo, who is a self-employed chartered accountant, said the family was anxious to know the supposed lover, who had been shielding the girl, adding that all efforts to locate her had proved unsuccessful.
She said, “Ezennia is just 13, but she looks big enough to be called a man’s wife. If you see her, you will think she is a lady. She just came from the village to spend some time with us and she is supposed to go back this December. But since that Thursday, we have yet to find her.
“The reason I suspect she may be with a lover is because of some recent developments. Just a week before that incident, I travelled to Benue for a programme, and she was alone with my children in the house. There is a phone that my children use which contains only my number and my husband’s.
“But when she fled home and we started the search, I picked up the phone and to my surprise, I saw a string of strange numbers.
“The children said Ezennia used the phone when I travelled.
“I wondered who she might have been calling since she is new in Lagos.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that calls and text messages sent to the numbers by the family since the day of the incident had not been replied to.
Efforts by our correspondent to obtain Ezennia’s photograph were unsuccessful as the teenager had yet to take any since she arrived in Lagos.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident.
He said Ezennia was still on the police’s list of missing persons.
“If seen, the public should contact Alausa Police Station,” he added.