Personnel of the Rapid Respond Squad (RRS) attached to the Abia State Police Command have recovered two children from a child trafficking syndicate which specialised in abducting children between two and three years old.
The RRS led by its Commander, SP Johnbull Obioguru, rescued the children from those they were sold to in Lagos State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State respectively.
One of the children, Master Marvellous Monday, was rescued from Lagos on Saturday, December 12, 2020 and was handed over to her parents by the RRS at weekend in Aba.
However, the second child, who was rescued from Port Harcourt also on Saturday, is too young to even say his name, the names of his parents, his community or last contact address.
New Telegraph was told that on August 28, 2020, Mrs. Happiness Monday, mother to Marvellous of Umuochialla village in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State, reported to RRS that her child was abducted by unknown people.
It was also learnt that another woman, Mrs. Rejoice Ikechukwu from the same community also reported to RRS on the same date that her three-year-old child, Master David Ikechukwu, was also abducted.
A police source said that based on their complaints, the state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Agbede, instructed the operatives of the RRS to go after the kidnappers.
According to the source, the action resulted in the arrest of five suspects, three males and two females, who confessed they specialised in abducting and selling children. One of the suspects, Chinonso Slyvanus (17) from Umuochalla village in Osisioma Local Government Area, was arrested at his hideout in Owerri, Imo State. Another suspect, Mr. Ekene Duru (31), also from Umuochalla village, was arrested at his hideout in Enugu, Enugu State. During interrogation, Slyvanus and Duru gave more information to RRS which led to the arrest of the suspected buyers, Mrs. Rose Okoro (45) at No 5, OPM Avenue, Port Harcourt and Mrs. Ngozi Ukpai (38) from Igwuruta in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. The source said that Okoro and Ukpai confessed to have bought the abducted kids from Sylvanus and Duru for N200,000 each and resold them for N450,000. Their information also led to the arrest of Mr. Chidi Okoro who runs a clinic, Prostel Hospital formerly known as God’s Favour Hospital and Maternity located at Umuode village in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State.
The source said that Okoro, a Senior Secondary School Certificate holder, had been impersonating as a medical doctor, but never had any medical training, but used the clinic for trafficking purposes.
The police source said that while efforts were on to rescue Master David Ikechukwu, the RRS was still waiting for the parents of the other rescued child and who could not identify himself to visit Abia State Police Command Headquarters or any nearest police station to identify and take the child home.
The source also said that aside the current rescued children there had been several cases of missing children in the Osisioma axis of Aba.