.By Jennifer John
The Imo state Police command has uncovered a child trafficking syndicate specializing in turning teenage girls to ‘raw materials’ for mass producing babies which they sell to the highest bidder.
These unscrupulous merchants house the girls in a ‘baby factory’ in the guise of a charity home and pay the girls pittance for the babies delivered, while selling at a profit.
Crimefacts.news reports that no fewer than 14 pregnant girls and four children were freed recently by the police, from a baby factory in Abia state.
Addressing newsmen, the Imo state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rabiu Ladodo said trouble started for the child trafficking syndicate on the 5th day of November, 2019.
He said that based on tip off that one Blessing Sunday, a steward at Mma Charity Home at Umumkpee Village in Isiala Ngwa South LGA of Abia State had lured a pregnant mother to Aba, Abia State where a Caesarian Section was carried out on her and the newly delivered baby stolen and sold by the owner of the centre, Mrs. Mma Achumba of Umumkpee, while the said Blessing Sunday hurriedly returned her victim to their village in Okwe-Owerre Umueze II of Ehime Mbano LGA, Imo state, while still bleeding.
According to Ladodo, this came to the knowledge of the youths of the community and in anger the youths descended on Blessing Sunday and were about to set her and her family house ablaze before a team of police officers raced to the scene, rescued her from the angry youths and rushed her to the hospital for treatment while the victim Onuwa Grace Nwachukwu was rushed to the Police Clinic, Owerri where she was admitted for treatment.
The CP said: “Days after her discharge from the Police Clinic, the victim managed to lead the Scorpion Squad of the Imo state Police command to Umumkpee Village in Isiala Ngwa South LGA of Abia State, in search of the baby and the owner of the centre, Mrs. Mma Achumba, the prime suspect.
“Though Mrs. Achumba escaped when the Police stormed Mma Charity Home, but a total of Fourteen (14) pregnant ladies and Four (4) children were rescued.
“A breakdown of the rescued pregnant ladies shows that four (4) are from Ngor-Okpala LGA of Imo State; two (2) are from Mbiabong in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; while eight (8) are from Obingwa/Isiala Ngwa and Bende LGAs of Abia State.
“The victims were kept at the centre waiting for the time they will deliver their babies and the owner of the home will pay them off at rates ranging from N300,000 to N350,000 depending on the sex of the child.”
The Imo State Police Commissioner, CP Ladodo noted also that the teenagers were kept in the baby factory without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
He regretted that the director of the centre Mrs. Mma Achumba and her staff are still at large but assured that efforts are being intensified to bring the child trafficking syndicate to book.