By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—A four-year-old girl, Uloma Igwe, was reportedly sold to a widow, Nwali Josephine, for N100 in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
According to investigation, the girl’s mother, Veronica Igwe allegedly owed Nwali Josephine N100 during transaction at Abakaliki Rice Mill.
It was gathered from a source that when the widow insisted on being paid, the girl’s mother decided to use one of her children as collateral pending when she will pay back.
The source added that the widow, Nwali, accepted the offer and took Uloma to her house at the College of Agricultural Sciences, CAS, campus of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, where she has been for the past nine months.
The Desk Officer in charge of Child Abuse at the State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Elom Cecilia, who confirmed the incident, said: “It is child abuse and exploitation because the poor girl did not transact any business with her. This is serious child abuse.
“We received a call that a woman called Nwali Josephine was maltreating children, we immediately went to the scene and saw the children. One of them is four years old.
“Her biological mother, Veronica Igwe, said she met the woman at a rice mill in Abakaliki and bought something on credit from the woman.
“She said she could not pay the woman the N100 that was remaining and suggested to the woman to take her child if she cannot wait for her to pay the money and the woman accepted to take the child.
“We invited Mrs. Veronica to our office and she honoured our invitation.
“After interviewing her, we handed her over to the Police for further investigation. The child has not been united with her parents because she is sick.”