Plateau woman who stole baby contemplates suicide in Police custody

4 min read
Mr. Diyal, arrested for stealing baby

Mrs. Leritshimwa Diyal, the woman who ‘stole’ a baby in Jos, the capital of Plateau State two weeks ago might be contemplating suicide.

Childless Mrs. Diyal, currently in Police custody told journalists on Thursday, that she stole the baby out of desperation.

“I just need a child to call me mother,” tearfully said the 32year old Medical Student.

Admitting the ‘wrong’ in her actions, the Plateau College of Health Zawang student said she “Wasn’t thinking straight” when she committed the crime.

“I wish I don’t survive…I wish I’m dead (sobs)…I wish I’m dead (snorts),” said Mrs. Diyal as she breaks into tears.

This was the third time she was uttering such words since she came under investigation on May 31, 2019, after a baby was declared missing in Plateau Specialists hospital, it was learnt.

7yrs married without a child

Mrs. Diyal has been married for seven years without a child.

She is said to have a medical condition that prevents her from conceiving.

In 2018, she had a surgery in her fallopian tube in a bit to conceive, it was gathered.

Shortly after the surgery, the Southern Plateau native reportedly took in but lost the pregnancy due to an undiagnosed fibroid.

Afraid of her husband’s reaction, Mrs. Diyal concealed the truth about her pregnancy, using her bulged fibroid tummy as cover, said a family source.

She had assured him that the fallopian tube surgery was the ultimate solution to her infertility.

Failed child adoption moves

When her ‘pregnancy’ was clocking nine months, Mrs. Diyal began making contacts for a baby to adopt ahead of her expected delivery date.

“I went through orphanages but could not get a baby to adopt,” she tearfully said when she was paraded before journalists in Jos on Thursday.

Meanwhile, her husband, Mr. Dunji Diyal, a local Teacher had sent her N50,000 for “cesarean session” billed for Monday, May 27, 2019.

Faked kidnap

On Sunday, May 26, 2019, Mrs. Diyal left her school home in Jos to see her Doctor, but never returned, claiming she had been kidnapped.

While negotiations were on for her release, she announced on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, that she had given birth to a female child in her kidnappers’ custody.

Mrs. Mary Chukwuebuka whose baby was stolen

On this same day, one Mrs. Mary Chukwuebuka was delivered of a female child at the Plateau Specialists Hospital, Jos.

After a ransom of N400, 000 (about $1,200USD) was jointly paid by Mrs. Diyal’s husband and parents for her ‘release’, she returned on Friday, May 31, 2019, with her ‘newborn’ baby.

This was barely an hour after Mrs. Chukwuebuka’s baby was declared missing from the hospital.

‘Broke down’

Police arrested her a few days later; after intelligence showed she stole the baby.

Plateau Police CP, Mr. Isaac A.

“The police got intelligence that a woman by name Leritshimwa Diyal ‘F’ of Zawan in Jos South LGA who claimed to have given birth on the same 28/05/19 while in the kidnappers’ den took a female child to Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos for medical examination.

“The Police immediately wrote to the hospital on 03/06/19 for the hospital to examine her as to whether she gave birth naturally within the period she so claimed.

“The Police also wrote to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) on 03/06/19 where she claimed she attended antenatal care so as to confirm her claim or otherwise.

“Due to the painstaking and diligent investigation coupled with medical reports, the Police discovered that the suspect, Leritshimwa Dungjil Diyal has not given birth as she claimed.

“When confronted with this obvious and naked reality, she broke down and confessed to the commission of the above-mentioned crime,” the Plateau State Police Commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede told journalists, Thursday.

As of the time of filing this report, efforts were on to secure her mother’s bail from custody.

She was arrested alongside Mrs. Diyal’s Doctor for allegedly conspiring to commit the crime.

Mrs. Diyal, however, says she committed the crime alone.

She said, “Let me be prosecuted alone because I am the only one guilty of the crime,” but the Police Commissioner said the claims were still being investigated.

First Offender

Mrs. Diyal is expected to be charged to court at the end of investigations.

If found guilty, she could face stiff punishment under section 30 subsection (1) of the Nigerian Child Rights Act and Chapter 34 of the Criminal Code Act.

However, she might benefit some leniency based on globally recognized mitigating judicial factors.

His Lordship, M.M. Kolo J. on the Nigerian case of COP v Buhari, cited by Udosen Jacob Idem and Nkokom Eyo Udofia in the Donnish Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution Vol 4(1) pp. 001-010 of January, 2018 held that some of such considerations include the age of the convict, first offender status, and admission of guilt.

Conduct of the offender after the commission of a crime and also his good work record are also factors for consideration, the Nigerian Judge stated.

Mrs. Diyal

Both Mrs. Diyal’s biological and matrimonial family testify that she is a good person with exemplary habits.

She has also owned up to the crime and appears remorseful with each passing day.

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