By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri – A 31-year-old lady, Immaculata Edward, and five others have been paraded at the Imo state police command, over alleged stealing and selling of seven children to child trafficking syndicate.
Among the children sold are said to be between 3 and 6-year-old.
However, out of the seven children, the Imo state Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Orlando Ikeokwu, on Friday confirmed to Vanguard in Owerri, that six of the children have been recovered and that the command is still making frantic efforts to find the remaining one.
He also said that the recovered children have been reunited with their families.
According to the police, Immaculata, is from Okonde Buju local government area of Cross River state.
While other suspects she was alongside paraded with Perpetual Iwuji 46-year-old woman from Ulakwo in Owerri North local government area; Grace Nwachukwu 58-year-old lady from Isiala Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise local government; Steven Ezenwa, Male, 31-year-old, from Okohia Amumara in Ezinihitte Mbaise local government area all in Imo state.
While Isong Ifara 46-year-old man from Ugep in Yarkur local government area of Cross River state and Ifeoma Ndubuisi, 27-year-old, woman from Lokpanta in Umunneochi in Abia state.
Narrating how the suspected child trafficking syndicate were apprehended the police said: “On 24/4/2019, one Immaculata Edward, a native of Okonde in Cross River State who is a girlfriend to one Ifara Isong resident at Eziama Logara in Ngor Okpala L.G.A visited the said boyfriend, because she was familiar and well known in the area, the children and the neighbors of her boy friend were all fond of her, they left the children in her custody while they went about their business.
“The said Immaculata targeted when her boyfriend went out to buy something and then she stole five (5) children namely Somto Ekeh ‘f’ 6yrs, Kelechi Ekeh ‘m’ 5yrs, Chisom Ekeh ‘f’ 3yrs, Ebuka Enwerem ‘m’ 3yrs, Chioma Enwerem ‘f’ 5yrs And Lucky Idah ‘m’ 6yrs, all children of one Reginald Ekeh ‘m’ and took them to a notorious child trafficker
“One Perpetual Iwuji from Obokwu Ulakwo in Owerri North L.G.A, who then sold two (2) of the children to one Grace Nwachukwu, another notorious child trafficker who hails from Isiala Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise L.G.A but resident at Mpape Abuja.
“Immaculata also stole two (2) of her uncle’s children from Cross River state and sold them to one Ifeoma Ndubuisi ‘f’ from Lokpanta in Umunneochi L.G.A Abia State.
“However, following intelligence, systematic, thorough and painstaking investigation, all the children stolen from Logara was recovered. Moreover, in the course of the investigation, additional five (5) children were recovered from Perpetual Iwuji and kept in an orphanage home.
“The five (5) children stolen from Logara have been reunited with their families. Meanwhile, one of the two children stolen from Cross River state has been recovered from Ifeoma Ndubuisi and efforts are on top gear to recover the remaining one.”
The child trafficking syndicate and some of the recovered children at the police headquarters in Owerri.