* Rescue four babies,
* Arrest principal suspect, accomplice
By Evelyn Usman
The Police in Lagos has uncovered a building in Isheri Osun area of the state used as a baby factory, rescuing 19 pregnant ladies between ages 15 and 28.
Arrested, were two women: Happiness Ukwuoma, 40 and Sherifat Ipeya 54.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the pregnant ladies were lured with promises of employment from their respective states to Lagos, only to be forced into prostitution.
Vanguard gathered that the ladies movements were restricted and that whenever any of them got pregnant, the suspects who posed as nurses, would monitor them until delivery.
Upon delivery, the babies would be taken to three different homes, from where they would be sold to ready buyers, especially women who are in desperate need of children, between N300,000 and N500,000.
A girl child is said to be sold for N300,000 while the boy is sold for N500,000.
As at yesterday, the Police were able to trace four babies to 32 Owosho Street, Governor Road, Ikotun; 29 Olugbeyohun Street, Olakunle Bus Stop Abaranja; 4/6 Anomo Street, Abaranja and 14 Adisa street Ayanwale area of Ikotun, all in Lagos State.
The syndicate met its waterloo, following a series of complaints by some residents who were suspicious of the presence of pregnant ladies at Adisa street.
Explaining how the syndicate was smashed, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala, said, “At about 4pm on September 19, 2019, acting on the strength of information from a reliable source, detectives from Isheri Osun Police Station led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Chike Ibe, stormed a building at no 14 Adisa street, Ayanwale area Ikotun Lagos, suspected to be used for child trafficking, where 19 pregnant girls were rescued.
“The pregnant women were brought from Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and the Imo States. The arrested suspects did not receive formal medical training but operate as nurses. They are natives of Imo and Epe, Lagos States respectively.
“The Command has launched a manhunt for the principal suspect, Madam Oluchi, from Mbano, Imo State. She is a mother of five. The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers.
We slept with men only at night
One of the rescued ladies from Akwa-Ibom state, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “ My friend who left Uyo last year, called me to say that someone was looking for house help. I borrowed money to come to Lagos. One woman came to pick me at the park and brought me here. The next day, I was summoned by our madam, who told me that I would not leave the premises until next year.
Being a newcomer, my customers only came at night to have sex with me. So far, I have slept with seven different men before I discovered I was pregnant. I was told that after delivery, I would be paid handsomely and that if I decided to leave after then, I could. My pregnancy is in its second trimester”.
Asked why she did not contact her relative when she noticed she was forced into prostitution, she replied, “ My telephone was collected from me and given a non-android phone”
The Lagos State Police Command boss, CP Zubairu Muazu, as gathered, visited the scene and ordered the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID Yaba to take over the case.
Meanwhile, the command, according to Bala, “is working with other agencies and stakeholders in rehabilitating and resettling the pregnant girls and the babies. The investigation is ongoing, at the end of which the suspects will be charged to Court”.