Nkechi Obi, 25 – year – old lady arrested by the po¬lice for allegedly selling a one week old baby boy, says she was only 16 years old when she was given out to a man to pro¬duce babies for sale.
Nkechi who claimed she has given birth to four children, however, stated that she does not know the whereabouts of her children.
“My lover took the babies from me. I don’t know where my children are” she said. Police¬men attached to the Lagos state police command arrested Nke¬chi after following her attempt to sell the baby in Lagos.
It was gathered that the po¬lice also arrested a nurse, one Patience Nwaogbo, and one Ogechi Njoku, a mother of two in connection with the baby trade syndicate.
The Lagos state commission¬er of police, Mr. Fatia Owoseni, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday, stated that the sus¬pect Nkechi belongs to a child trafficking ring that specialises in trafficking babies from the south eastern part of the coun¬try to Lagos state.
He stated that the suspects were exposed after a vigilant bus driver alerted the police that Nkechi was behaving in a suspicious manner.
The Lagos police boss said “the lady (Nkechi) came from lmo state to Lagos. However along the line, the driver of the vehicle she boarded discovered that she did not breast feed the baby. The driver drew the attention of the police Nkechi was arrested and taken to the Makinde police station where she confessed that she was tak¬ing the one week old baby boy to a woman. The police investi¬gation led to the arrest of two women in Lagos in connection with the crime”.
Nkechi who hails from Omu¬ma town in Imo State however stated that she was acting as a courier to deliver the baby to a nurse in Lagos.
She said “It was my aunty one Mrs. Ngozi that gave me the baby to bring to Lagos. She only gave me a phone number to call. I don’t know how she got the child and she did not promise to give me money. I am an orphan. I live with my aunty and she gave me to a man when I was 16 years old. I gave birth to four children but I don’t know where my chil¬dren are because the man I had the children for took them away from me’”
Police sources stated that Nkechi gave birth in Septem¬ber but she had sold her baby.
The source said, “This lady is a member of the syndicate. She can be a victim too but from what she told us, she gave birth two months ago and she had called a woman to pay her N400,000 so she can deliver a baby girl for her. This is a big business in eastern Nigeria and they see it as a family business. They don’t hide it and they don’t see it as a crime.”
Police sources stated that Ogechi a housewife allegedly paid N1 million to Patience who is a nurse in a clinic in Festac to help her get a baby boy
It was gathered that the case was transferred to the State In¬telligence Bureau(SIB) Lagos police command and the op¬eratives arrested Ogechi and Patience however effort to get other suspects arrested was not successful.
Patience, in her confession to the police, stated that she allegedly got involved in the baby factory syndicate as she was moved by Ogechi’s plight to have a male child.
She said “Ogechi has been looking for a male child. She came to the clinic and I assisted her to contact somebody in the east. She paid N1million for the baby boy because she is desper¬ate to have a male child so that her husband will not send her packing from her home.”
Ogechi on her part told the police that marital pressure pushed her to buy a baby boy.
She said, “I have been mar¬ried for 18 years and I have two girls. My husband and her fam¬ily have been on my neck to give them a male child. My husband is living outside the country but has refused to come home or send money for the upkeep of the girls. I had a miscarriage and I wanted to please my hus¬band so I paid the money for the baby boy so I can deceive my husband that we have a son and he can start caring for us.’’
It was gathered that the police granted Ogechi and Patience bail.