Easter: 12-year-old with Down’s syndrome disappears during ‘beating of Judas’

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Omogbolahan Adelekan, 12.

The family of a 12-year-old boy with Down’s syndrome, Omogbolahan Adelekan, has become distraught over his disappearance during the ‘beating of Judas’ on Saturday at the Lafiaji area, Lagos Island, Lagos State.

The beating of Judas, a custom associated with the Easter celebration, was usually observed on the Lagos Island.

According to residents, during the celebration, children are gathered to beat up an effigy to show anger against the betrayal of Jesus by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot.

It was during the exercise that Omogbolahan reportedly went missing.

His mother, Dupe Adelekan, said efforts to find him had been abortive, adding that the police had yet to have any clue on his whereabouts.

“We started looking for him on Saturday around 3.30pm when we noticed that he was nowhere to be found,” she said.

“Children on Lafiaji Street were beating Judas on Saturday and because we were not staying in that area, he had never seen something like that before. He was fascinated by the whole process and followed the children to beat Judas and got missing in the process.

“When he did not get back, we asked the other children; they confirmed to us that he followed them and they took us to the places they went to; but we could not find him.”

The 47-year-old mother, who noted that the family came to the Island to celebrate the Easter with Omogbolahan’s grandmother, said she had been to various hospitals and places on the Island in search of the boy, adding that the search proved abortive.

Our correspondent learnt that the matter was reported at the Lion Building Police Division, Central Police Station, Adeniji Adele Police Station and a police post on Oluwole Street.

The mother said family members were distressed, urging anyone with information on Omogbolahan’s whereabouts to contact the police.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident, said efforts were on to find the boy and reunite him with his family.

He said, “We got the report of the missing child and have broadcast it to all our stations and points. Investigation is ongoing with a view to tracing his whereabouts.”

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