By Ishola Balogun
Madubuike and his wife were clueless about the whereabouts of their daughter for four months. She had gone missing after she told her parents she was going to check her post JAMB results in one of the universities in the South-East.
Anticipating that she had passed the night in her friend’s or relative’s house, the parents hoped she would return the next day. But when she did not return, the search began, but it was fruitless. The young girl had deliberately stayed away from home to shield herself from the protruding tummy as a result of a five month-old pregnancy.
She had met a friend who advised her to conceal the pregnancy pending when she would be delivered and sold it to a dealer. The deal was successful. She had gone back to the dealer to collect the balance sum of N5000 of the N30,000 for the baby when she met her water-loo. The law enforcement agents raided the home of the dealer that faithful day.
The young lady is only a case in point as scores of young girls with unwanted pregnancies patronise baby dealers, most of who masquerade as operators of native clinics where mysterious deliveries take place.
Our findings revealed that the unpublicised native maternity homes use illicit means to procure babies to childless couples on the payment of huge amount of money, ranging from N750,000 to N1m depending on the sex of the baby. We gathered that twins go for about N1.5million or more.
The delivery date depends on the baby seekers. While some opt for a nine-month period, some go for a fast deal of one month or two, also depending on the availability of the baby from source. Investigations revealed that for those who go for a nine-month period, a pregnancy will be framed and delivery date given. The delivery day can be postponed indiscriminately based on the availability of the baby.
Their patrons are desperate women, ranging from high society women, clergymen and women who most times hide the arrangements from their husbands. Most of these centres are found in Aba, Okigwe, Obigbo, Port-Harcourt etc.
How pregnancy and deliveries are framed Investigations
revealed that these clinics administer certain substances on the patients that form a sort of tumour in the womb of the ‘expectant’ mothers, making them believe they were pregnant. Occasionally, a movement is caused in the belly making it look as if a baby is kicking. The women are warned not to go to any hospital or undergo ultrasound or any sort of scan as they could lose the ‘pregnancy’ or ‘baby’ in the process.
You will recall, Precious Donatus Ogbonna, who claimed to have delivered seven babies in one year had told Saturday Vanguard in one of her interviews that she refused to go for ultra-sound during her pregnancy.
Thereafter, a delivery date is given to the client and few weeks to the time of delivery, a tablet called Multlin will be administered, this according to our source, will make the breast full with milk, ready for delivery and for the baby to sulk. She maintained that this was very important as it would convince the husband and those who would come to congratulate her on the new born baby.
Our unsuspecting source advised the reporter to immediately procure the tablet and let his wife take two, three times daily for two weeks while assuring the reporter that the family will have a baby in the next one month.
Further investigations revealed that when it is time for ‘delivery,’ another substance is administered on the woman, which gives a false impression of labour. Part of the growing tumour will come out through the vagina and it is cut to discharge blood and make it look as if there was actual delivery. A baby is then sneaked in and made to cry. The woman is also made to believe she had been delivered of a baby.
In Precious Ogbonna’s case, she told the reporter that when she had one of the babies, it was recorded through a friend’s cell phone but she deleted the video few days later. She regretted deleting the stuff fearing her husband would not like it, especially, if the video got to a third party, adding that she went into labour and gave birth to the kids.
Mummy D Clinic in Rukpukwu, PH
Except for those who know her and what she does, Mummy D’s clinic is not a popular one or perhaps is made to be. By the junction of Rukpukwu, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, it is about a three minute-walk. The residential building which part of it (a flat) offers solution to baby seeking women, is strictly exclusive for women.
Behind the tall gate and high fenced walls which take away the prying eyes of the public and law enforcement agents, all manner of absurdities take place. Saturday Vanguard was led into the building to see Mummy D by a woman who had passed through the process in the clinic. She was well known in the clinic so much that other baby seekers asked her whether she had come for another one,(baby) even without a protruding stomach as a sign of a possible delivery.
She had hinted the reporter about the procedures believing her guest was ready for the deal. It was like a market place as women throng in one after the other, making the male reporter only the odd one. Mummy D was in her office, a small consulting room which barely takes a table and a chair and an examination bed.
The reporter was introduced to Mummy D as a baby seeker and had to pay the required consultation fee of N1000 before opening up discussion. She claimed to have learned the rudiments and use of herbs that can make a barren woman pregnant from her father and had successfully used it for years to assist women in dire need of babies.
She said most of what people consider as fibroid are not fibroid and that she assists women in determining a pregnancy by using a substance to massage their bellies. She boasted of her ability to cause ‘pregnancy’ showing the reporter different types of substances, which according to her, aid in the delivery of babies, contraction etc. She became suspicious after several interogation and therefore ended discussion.
Nurse Blessing, PH
On Ohonda close in Rukpakulusi, Nurse Blessing was popular. Many in the neighbourhood knew her as an auxiliary nurse long before she went to train in this illicit trade at Ayodele Omosuyi Natural Clinic in Okigwe, Imo State. She was formerly staying in a ‘face to face’ apartment located not too far from her present high fenced and tall gate bungalow apartment. She was said to have been the source of at least five of the seven babies of Precious Donatus Ogbonna which the DNA sponsored by Vanguard proved the acclaimed mother wrong. In fact, none of the babies had same maternity according to the result.
But Precious insisted she delivered the babies at Nurse Blessing’s home. On getting to the home, no one was visibly present as the tall gate was locked. The gateman who attended to the reporter the last time we visited was also not around. Neighbours around who volunteered information said she has not been seen for couple of months. Further investigation on the nurse revealed that she could have been at large following the several publications on Precious Donatus Ogbonna and the DNA.
In fact, we gathered that immediately after the bubble burst, Nurse Blessing allegedly proposed to Precious to escape with the babies, offering to give her N180, 000 to leave for Ghana where an accommodation had been prepared for her. She did not want public scrutiny on the birth of the seven babies.
But a naive Precious insisted she was not going to run, insisting on a DNA test to prove her claim. Saturday Vanguard immediately went to Owerri to get Precious’ comment on the allegation. She said: “I’is not time to talk. I don’t know what is happening but it is not yet the time to talk.” She neither confirmed nor disproved the allegation.
Ogechi in Obigbo
Like what is common to all the clinics visited, no sign post informed visitors of what goes on there. They have tall gates and high fenced walls as the trademarks. Ogechi’s home is not different.
The setting is like a mini clinic with few female staffers. For her, we gathered, she could deliver babies to new clients in few weeks. She has a large network of sources which readily deliver for her. Her charges range between N1.2million to N1.5million for twins and N750, 000 for a male child and takes a little less for female child. A native hinted Saturday Vanguard that people come there with posh cars. She was also said to have been trained in Okigwe.
Ayodele Omosuyi, Okigwe
Ayodele Omosuyi Natural Clinic in Ugwuaku, Okigwe, Imo State is popularly known in the neighbourhood as a centre for baby seeking barren women.
Even the commercial motorcycle riders, Okada, at the Okigwe junction along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, would readily take you to her clinic. She was said to have encountered the police a couple of times. Mrs Ayodele Omosuyi is a middle aged woman called Iyawo in the community. She is seen as a very powerful woman her and nobody in the rural community of Ugwuaku dares cross her path. She is like the big-fish in the business having trained quite a lot of young women in the trade. We gathered that she was the one who trained Ogechi and Nurse Blessing in Obigbo and Rukpkulsi in Port-Harcourt respectively. It was reported that soldiers raided her place last year.
A source told Saturday Vanguard few days ago that a barren wife of a soldier actually went there to genuinely seek for assistance to overcome her long years of childlessness. She was asked to pay the sum of N1million, with an assurance that she would get a baby in few weeks.
The processes and the fee drew the curiosity of the soldier’s wife as an unholy act. She invited soldiers who raided the place but later left her off the hook. Sources said she charges between N1million – N1.5million per baby, more than her other trained colleagues in the business.
Our source maintained that pastors, clergymen and women, people from far and near, in posh cars visit the home.
The investigations showed that child trafficking and selling of babies are on the rise, and the traffickers hide under the cloak of native maternity operation to arrange babies for baby seekers while young women, who found a solution ground for unwanted babies, dump them in the clinics for onward sale or birth arrangement to desperate women.
Recently, the law enforcement agents last December raided the Omosuyi Natural clinic with officials of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) after a tip-off. While Nurse Blessing is still nursing the ache caused by her deal with Precious, several others still operate unhindered with several kids being transferred to desperate women.