The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 20-year-old woman, Miracle Kalu, for allegedly selling her one-month-old baby for N130,000.
Kalu’s arrest followed the arrest of four persons, including a couple, for allegedly attempted to re-sell the baby in Lagos, and another couple for allegedly buying her.
The first couple, Patrick Mbama and Ogechi Chinonso Ekwebele, allegedly bought the baby from Kalu in Imo State and resold her to another couple in Lagos for N150,000.
The police said their investigation revealed that both Mbama and Ekwebele were never married but pretended to be husband and wife for the purpose of smuggling the baby into Lagos.
Parading the suspects yesterday at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said policemen had observed the baby crying in a Toyota Sienna vehicle and advised Ekwebele, the supposed mother of the child, to breast-feed her, but she hesitated, a behaviour that aroused suspicion. Odumosu said, “On April 26, 2020 at 2am, police officers from Anthony Division on enforcement duty at Anthony Oke, Lagos, intercepted a Toyota Sienna SUV carrying seven passengers. Among the passengers were Patrick Mbama and Ogechi Chinonso Ekwebele, travelling together with a baby of about a month old, suspected to have been stolen. “They were coming from Orlu, Imo State. All the occupants of the vehicle were arrested for violating the ban on inter-state travel and the vehicle was impounded.
Upon questioning, this particular couple claimed that a childless man and wife in Lagos had paid for the said baby. “The childless couple, Izuchukwu Okafor, 51, and Cecilia Okafor, 40, who ordered for the baby, were also arrested.” Kalu told journalists she was an orphan and a secondary school dropout. Confessing, she said, “When I got pregnant, my boyfriend, whose house I do not know, denied the pregnancy, saying he was not responsible for it. Since I was leaving with my elder sister who is also struggling, I had to leave the house and look for a means of surviving. “I gave birth to the baby at God’s Own Maternity in Imo State and sold her to take care of my health issue as I have ulcer. This and lack of funds forced me into selling my 28-day-old baby to Cecilia Okafor. I bought drugs and took care of my health with the money I was paid.” Okafor said it was the desperation to have “a child of my own” that pushed her into buying the baby. “Being barren for 15 years is not easy. I heard there was a girl who was pregnant and did not want to keep the baby. I took care of her from ante-natal till she gave birth. She told me she is an orphan and has asthma and that was why she agreed to sell the baby. I paid her N130,000 for the baby,” she said.