By Felix Ogbonna
Soldiers from 144 Battalion, Asa, in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State have rescued 14 pregnant teenagers and eight children from a motherless babies’ home at Umunkpeyi Nvosi in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area.
Also arrested by the soldiers were six young men, who claimed to be staff of the home, and two girls, aged 16 and 25.
However, the proprietress of the home, Mrs. Nma Charity, is still at large.
It was gathered that Mrs. Charity claimed to be running a government-approved home, but engages in child trafficking and hiring of men who impregnates the teenage girls.
Sources told Vanguard that on delivery, each girl got N20,000, while their babies were sold for between N80,000 and N150,000 for females and males, respectively.
One of the suspects, who was caught at Eke-Akpara in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area, while trying to steal a baby, confessed that he had been in the business with Mrs. Charity for a long period, stating that his role was to steal a child and deliver it to the her, who in turn sold it to her customers.
Acting on the confession of the suspect, the Commanding Officer 144 Battalion, Lt. Col. Omolori Rasheed, ordered his men to raid the home where about 14 pregnant teenagers and six young men were arrested, while the proprietress of the home was away at the time of the raid.
A soldier, who declined to have his name in print, told Vanguard that the babies, between the ages of one and six, and the pregnant teenagers, would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters, NAPTIP, while the other persons would be handed over to the police for prosecution.