BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA – THE Imo State police command is currently battling to ascertain the real parents of a baby stolen from Onitsha in 2010 as two families are laying claim to the same baby.
The baby, Emmanuel Chimaobi Adinna Okoro, who was born on 9th August 2010, was allegedly stolen from his parents who reside at Awada-Obosi, a suburb of Onitsha in Anambra State by a lady who pretended to be his aunt.
However, when the news of the disappearance of little Emmanuel got to his parents, Mr. and Mrs Chinedu Okoro, who were not in the house when the incident took place, immediately reported the case to the Awada police station and the police began the search for the stolen baby who was at the time of his theft, 18 months old.
The efforts of the police paid off when a suspect who gave her name as Ngozi Okeke was arrested as she allegedly came back to Onitsha from Imo State to steal more babies.
On learning of the arrest, the family of the stolen Emmanuel approached the police with their house help from whom the little baby was stolen and identified the suspect on the spot.
However, following the alleged reluctance of the police to release the baby to them, counsel to the family of the stolen baby, Mr. Ignatius Umennabude, petitioned the Imo State Commissioner of Police, demanded that the police release the child to his parents since they have provided necessary documents concerning the child.
Vanguard gathered that the case took a different dimension when the parents of the baby went to the Imo State police command to claim their baby, but were denied access to him on the ground that another woman was also claiming the same baby.
The baby in question is presently in the custody of the social welfare officer in the Imo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
According to Umennabude, there was confusion when the Deputy Police Commissioner, DCP, in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, CID, in Imo State told the family of Emmanuel that there was another lady who had lodged a complaint that she gave birth to a baby boy who she left under the care of a certain nurse who was at that time being detained by police in connection with child trafficking.
The woman, Vanguard gathered, also told the police that the stolen child, who had been identified by the Okoro family in Onitsha as their son, was also her son, noting that she gave birth to the baby while still in school and decided to leave him with the nurse to help her finish her education.
She was said to have told the police that when she came back from school, she could not find her baby and the nurse.
Though the suspect was said to have confirmed that the little Emmanuel belongs to the Okoro family, she, however, could not account for the whereabouts of the son of the other woman in her custody.
The Imo State command was said to be insisting that there must be a DNA test to ascertain the true parentage of the stolen baby.