By Chinonso Alozie
An investigation by Vanguard has revealed that no fewer than three illegal orphanages, popularly known as baby factories, have been discovered in Imo State.
The investigation in Owerri followed a series of disturbing discussions around some persons in the business of child trafficking while using the orphanages as a cover.
Some areas as mentioned to Vanguard that had been marked for notoriety in baby factory businesses are Orlu Local Government Area; Orji and Uratta both in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.
Vanguard spoke with the Grand Patron of the Association of Orphanages and Homes Operators in Nigeria, ASOHON, Godson Akpunonu, who confirmed that two to three illegal homes have been identified and that the association was compiling its report to forward to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, in the South-East zone for action.
Akpunonu assured that the report might likely get to the AIG in the next three weeks and from the AIG’s office, it will be forwarded to the various states police commands for follow-up.
Speaking to Vanguard he said: “If you check two to three years back and what is happening now you know that there is a difference. Right now, security agencies are now more careful knowing too well that there is an organisation that is also fighting child trafficking.
“This association, ASOHON, has helped the security agencies to identify the illegal orphanages.
“The issue of illegality, those baby factories are the ones not registered. Just now we have fished out three of them, which are practising illegality in Imo State.”