The Lagos State Police Command has said that the child in the viral dispatch rider video was not stolen.
A statement by the command on Monday said that the dispatch rider, Williams Tadule, got the consent of the child’s mother, Lovina Biturs, to take her 10 month-old baby away.
According to the police, Tadule and Biturs were neighbours and the baby was fond of the rider.
The police, in a statement, added that the rider wanted to go pick up something in the neighbourhood and the baby’s uncontrollable cries won’t let his mother be.
“To pacify the baby, his mother allowed him go with the rider,” said police spokesman in Lagos, Adekunle Ajisebutu in the statement, titled, ‘Child Found With Dispatch Rider Not Stolen’.
The statement read, “On 11th March, 2022, a video of a dispatch rider accused of concealing a suspected stolen child in a courier box went viral on the social media, causing apprehension.
“Although the incident was not reported at any police station, however, the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, fdc, mnim, psc, directed that the incident should be investigated immediately.
“In compliance with the directive, investigation was initiated, which led to the discovery of the scene. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the child was not stolen after all and that he was not kept in the courier box as alleged by the mob.
“The child’s mother, Lovina Biturs, was contacted. It was then revealed that the child was actually taken away and put on the dispatch motorbike by the rider with the consent of his mother.
“According to the mother, the 10 month-old baby is fond of the rider who is a relative, a neighbour and was crying uncontrollably when he (rider) wanted to go pick up something in the neighbourhood. To pacify the baby, his mother allowed him go with the rider.
“Passersby who saw the child with the rider along Sangotedo area, Ajah, on the said day, became suspicious and concluded that the child might have been stolen, raised the alarm which attracted a mob. The mob subsequently pounced on the rider, beating him without finding out the truth.
“The dispatch rider later identified as Williams Tadule, was said to have been rescued by the Chairman of the Sunview Estate, Sangotedo.
“The Commissioner of Police, therefore, warns members of the public against any form of jungle justice, as such uncivilised action has grave consequences.”