By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—A 17-year-old teenage girl was allegedly drugged by traffickers, labbelled mentally ill and her three-month-old boy sold for N910,000.
Meanwhile, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, in collaboration with the Police, has arrested membbers of the child-trafficking syndicate in connection with the stealing and sale of the baby in Ebonyi State.
Vanguard gathered that the baby boy was sold to a woman in Abuja for N910,000.
NAPTIP Desk Officer in Ebonyi State, Mrs Florence Onwa, explained that the baby boy, Agbanwe Omogo, and his 17-year-old mother were lured by a family friend, Mrs Chinonye Agu, from their community, Abogodo, in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, to Onitsha in Anambra State.
She noted that the suspected trafficker drugged the teenage mother and took her baby away.
They later sold him to one Philip from Awgu in Enugu State, who later sold the baby boy to other persons in Kogi and Abuja.
The nursing mother’s uncle invited the Police to arrest the woman trafficker, when she brought the baby’s mother back to Ohaukwu to inform him that the baby died in Onitsha when his mother developed mental illness.
The mother’s story
Narrating her ordeal, the baby’s mother alleged that before her baby was sold, she was drugged with herbs by the suspected trafficker, who later took her to a shrine in Kogi State unconscious.
Her uncle, Mr. Cyprian Enyi, commended NAPTIP and Ebonyi State Police Command for recovering the baby and arresting the suspects, but regretted that she 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 the teenager and her baby.
Confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs Loveth Odah, said the suspects had been charged to court and warned citizens of the state to desist from such ugly act.