By Vincent Ujumadu -Awka
A suspected child trafficker, Miss Chisom Ani, 28, claimed that those who came to buy two baby girls she stole in Anambra East local government area of Anambra State wanted her to sell her baby boy to them, instead of the baby girl she was contracted to bring to them.
The suspected child trafficker, who was paraded at the police headquarters in Awka, said she was contacted to steal a baby girl for the buyer who had already promised to pay her N400,000, adding that trouble started when the buyers saw her own baby boy and changed their mind.
During the parade, Ani was seen cuddling a baby boy, while the two female children she stole were handed over to their parents.
The suspected child trafficker said: “The baby boy is my child, while the baby girl is the one I stole from the parents. The third one is the sister to the one I stole, but she followed me after I carried her little sister and so I decided to take two of them.
“My intention was to sell only the seven months old baby girl and send her five -year old her sister back to her parents through another accomplice.
“I took the baby to Onitsha and contacted one Onye Army who was to bring the buyers. When the buyers came, they complained that they didn’t have money, and since that Monday was a public holiday in Anambra, they lodged us in a hotel so they could get the money the next day.
“I, however, noticed that another woman who came with the buyer by name, Udodiri Afamefuna took interest in my own baby by saying that she wanted a baby boy instead. I told her the baby boy was not for sale, but she said I should give her the baby. She later took my baby boy and pretended that she was going to buy something.
“It was then I realized that they were not genuine as they wanted to take my baby instead of the one I brought to sell and so, I refused. It was the next day that the police came and arrested us because our hotel accommodation expired and the man who was to pay for the baby had not come.”
Parents of the stolen children, Mr and Mrs Ejike said the lady (Miss Ani) who stole their children was their neighbour at Enugwu-Aguleri where they lived, adding that she was a frequent visitor to their house.
Ejike said: “She came that Monday while my wife was cooking and she opted to help us take care of the baby, while I helped my wife with the food she was cooking because my wife is a food vendor. That was how she took away my two children.
“For six days, I was looking for my children. I even went to her house but was told she had gone. I searched everywhere and even reported to the police, but the children were not found.”
Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra State, Mr Haruna Mohammed described the two women paraded in connection with the incident as members of a syndicate who specialized in stealing children.
“People should be very conscious of who they leave their children with. What this syndicate does is to rent an apartment and monitor their victims and once they steal the child, they abandon their residence and move to another location,” the PPRO said.
He added that it was even possible that the baby boy, which Miss Ani claimed was hers, might have also been stolen from another victim and urged members of the public whose child was missing to come to the police headquarters to identify the little boy.