Sunday, 19 April 2015

Lessons From The 'OLX Lagos Nanny' Kidnapping Incident

Kidnapper Funmilayo Adeyemi (a.k.a Mary Akinloye)
THE kidnap of three children by their nanny for ransom in Surulere, Lagos, the other day has once again brought the danger of domestic help to the fore. Nannies and house-helps have been known to commit all manners of atrocities on their unsuspecting employers. From sexual abuse of the children to stealing, husband snatching to even murder, horrible stories of nannies are legion.

Parents should therefore learn useful lessons from these gory cases, especially that of the Orekoya family and be extra careful when hiring a maid/nanny to take care of their children.

It is heartwarming that the three abducted children have been rescued and re-united with their parents and the nanny arrested. The police should however strive to track down other members of the gang who worked with the nanny to inflict such trauma on a family and cut such a deep wound on the heart of the society.

The Orekoya family had hurriedly employed one Mary Akinloye (23), whose real name is now said to be Funmilayo Adeyemi as nanny, to take care of their four children apparently without first conducting background checks on the lady. The nanny was contracted through OLX, an on-line sales portal on which they put up a post seeking the service of a nanny after their nanny suddenly stopped coming to work.

The desperation to get someone urgently must have beclouded their sense of judgment. Consequently, when Adeyemi, also known as Mary Akinloye phoned the family and indicated interest in the job, they immediately agreed to employ her “in the interim”, hoping to do necessary documentation later.

The nanny was employed on March 7. On her first full day at work, she disappeared with three of the kids – Aderomola (11 months), Adedamola (4 years) and Demola (6 years).

According to the children’s mother, Adebisi, it was her eldest son who called and informed her while she was at work that the nanny had taken his siblings away on the excuse that she was going to buy something.

Interestingly, before her resumption for work the nanny had given the contacts of her supposed relatives, a brother and a sister, with whom Orekoyas spoke on the telephone and the phony brother and sister had agreed to meet with the Orekoyas during the week to finalise documentation.

Little did Adebisi and her husband, Leke Orekoya, know that the nanny was on an evil mission and actually working with a kidnapping ring. After the nanny had absconded with the kids no one from her end responded to calls anymore.

The gang later called the family from a hideout to demand the sum of N15 million as ransom, a demand that was later reduced to N13 million and the family was given two days to produce the amount or lose the children.
Traumatised and helpless, the family began to beg members of the public and the Lagos State Government to come to their assistance to enable them pay the ransom. It was however not clear how much of the ransom was paid when news eventually broke that the police had smashed the kidnappers’ hideout and rescued the children.

The nanny too has since been arrested. And the hunt is on for her accomplices. The lessons to learn from this ugly incident are many. There is need for families to be careful when engaging any house maid or domestic help.
There should be thorough investigation prior to hiring. The Orekoyas were undoubtedly careless to have left four kids and their home to a stranger they knew little or nothing about.

They are culpable and the hope is that they have learnt their lesson. Both husband and wife certainly failed in their responsibility to the children, especially, but the trauma they have been through is enough punishment. Now it is well-known that recruiting nannies or housemaids from on-line platform is dangerous.

With the spate of fraudulent activities in the Internet, it is unwise for any family to source for a maid on this platform. OLX, the on-line platform through, which the nanny was sourced is liable and deserves to be brought to justice. It is incumbent on media platforms to crosscheck both the advertisements and advertisers as well as job seekers using them.

Besides, there should be rules and regulation to check excesses or abuses on the social media, especially knowing that the Orekoya’s experience is not the first of its kind.

More importantly, there is need for families to get their priorities right. Nothing could be equated to the life and welfare of their children and nothing is too much to be sacrificed for the welfare of those children.

The struggles for a successful career or earning a living should not rob children of the care they deserve from their parents. The Orekoya saga has boldly advertised the need for all Nigerians to re-examine their commitment to family values in the modern age and the danger the society is exposed to when family is not first.

Source:
Guardian Newspaper