By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT- Suspected Nigerian-American based child trafficker, Precious Obasi, has told a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, that she returned to Nigeria to give birth to triplet in a maternity home in Iguruta Community, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Obasi was arrested in a hotel at Stadium road in Port Harcourt were she was lodging with the babies based on a hint to the police by manager of the organisation.
Obasi was brought before the court with her supposed sister, Easter Igwe, on three counts of conspiracy and Child stealing, contained in charge sheet no: PMC/1260c/2018.
The charges read: “That you Precious Obasi, Easter Igwe and others now at large between 25th day of May, 2018, 10th of June, 2018 at L.A Kings Hotel Stadium Road Elekahia, Port Harcourt in Port Harcourt Magistrate District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: child stealing and committed an offence punishable under section 516A (1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”
Count two read: “That you Precious Obasi and Easter Igwe between 25th 2018 and 10th of June, 2018 at Igwuruta Town, Port Harcourt within the port Harcourt Magisterial District did buy three (3) children ( two girls and one boy) at Igwuruta Town, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 30 (1) (3) of the Child’s Right Act, Cap 50, LFN, 2003.”
Count three read: “That you Precious Obasi and Easter Igwe on same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did take away three (3) children (two girls and one boy) out of the Custody and against the will of their parents and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 27 (2) (C) of the Child’s Right Act, Cap 50, LFN, 2003.”
However, when the charges were read to the suspects, pleas were not taken, but the prime suspect, Obasi, told the court that she decided to return to Nigeria to give birth at the maternity home because she was scared of going through caesarian operation in US.
Obasi said: “I was in my hotel room with my triplet/when police came and arrested me. I came from US to have my baby in Nigeria. I have my reasons. I live in America.
“My reason is that I had operation in US in the last baby I had and I don’t want to go through it again that was why I came to Nigeria to have them naturally.
I went to a maternity home in Igwuruta, Ikwerre Local Government, to have my children. When I gave birth to the first two babies, a male and female they said I had Fibroid remaining in my womb. I was having complications so they asked me to come back and when I got there I gave birth to the third child, female.”
Counsel, who appeared for defence, A C Moka told the court: “Critical examination shows that count 2 and 3 are not complete because they did not give name of the persons who own those children. The constitution provides that they are innocent until they are proven guilty.”
Meantime, the trial Chief Magistrate, F.N. Amanze (ESQ) urged the prosecution to amend the charges, remanded the suspects in custody and adjourned till 28 of June for the amended charges to be read and plea to be taken.