The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP) and Police have arrested eight child trafficking
syndicates for stealing and selling a three-month-old baby boy in Ebonyi State.
The boy who was sold to a woman in Abuja at the cost of Nine Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira(N910,000).
NAPTIP Desk Officer in Ebonyi State, Mrs. Florence Onwa while briefing journalists in Abakaliki explained that the baby boy and his seventeen-year-old mother, Miracle were lured by a family friend known as Mrs. Chinonye Agu from their community Abogodo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the State to Onitsha, Anambra State.
Agu allegedly got N450, 000 from the amount the baby was sold.
She noted that the suspected trafficker drugged Miracle and took her baby away and later sold him to one Philip from Awgu in Enugu State who later sold the baby boy to other persons in Kogi and Abuja.
Mrs. Onwa, however, stated that Miracle’s uncle invited police to arrest the woman trafficker when she brought Miracle back to Ohaukwu to inform him that the baby died in Onitsha when his mother developed mental illness.
“We thank the Nigeria Police because they have recovered the baby. They have recovered the baby and arrested eight suspects. We will ensure that justice is done on this matter”, she said.
Narrating her ordeal, Miracle alleged that before her baby was sold, she was drugged with herbs by the suspected trafficker who later on took her to a shrine in Kogi state unconsciously.
Miracle’s Uncle, Mr. Cyprian Enyi commended NAPTIP and Ebonyi State Police Command for recovering the baby and arresting the suspects but regretted that Miracle eventually lost her father following the incident.
The Director Child Development and Social Welfare, Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Godwin Igwe appealed to relevant authorities to assist the Ministry in the rehabilitation of Miracle and her baby.
Igwe who condemned the action of the suspected trafficker, Chinonye Agu said the ministry was arranging for a legal aid to ensure proper prosecution of the suspect at a competent family law court.
He called on government and public-spirited individuals to help in rehabilitating the baby boy and mother.
He noted that the mother of the baby would undergo a medical test to determine her status.
“We at the Ministry of Women Affairs have taken our action on this matter and we are going to conduct a medical examination to ascertain if the baby and the mother are in good health”, he said.
Confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mrs. Loveth Odah said the suspects had been charged to court.