By Davies Iheamnachor
The Rivers State Police Command has busted a baby factory in Port Harcourt, recovering 24 babies and four pregnant teenagers.
But the owner of the home has denied the allegation that they were running a baby factory.
The babies recovered by operatives of the command were between the ages of one and two years.
Addressing pressmen while parading the suspects in Port Harcourt, Wednesday, the Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, noted that the syndicate was uncovered on Tuesday around 3.30p.m., following an operation of Eagle Crack Unit of the Police in the state.
Dandaura, who was represented by the command’s spokesman, Nnandi Omoni, said the babies were currently receiving medical attention at the Police Clinic, adding that investigations had commenced to identify other suspects who are at large.
He said: “Today, I am glad to inform you that operatives of the Eagle Crack in a covert operation, Tuesday, at about 3:30p.m., busted a child trafficking syndicate at Woji in Port Harcourt, where 24 babies between the ages of one and two years and four pregnant teenagers were recovered.
“The babies and pregnant teenagers, who are frail and malnourished, are currently receiving medical attention at the police clinic, while investigation is still on to make more recoveries and bring the masterminds to justice.
He called on residents of the state, whose babies were missing, to come to the state Police Headquarters to identify and take home their babies.
‘It isn’t a baby factory’
Meanwhile, the owner of the home has denied the claim by the police that the home was a baby factory, noting that the orphanage and transition home was registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation in 2018.
The lawyer of the home, Eunice Uchendu, said: “Yesterday, the E-Crack team came to Tenter Life Foundation Initiative and arrested the owner and other persons on wrong information that it was a baby factory, which is not true.
“It is an orphanage. She (owner) works in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare. The ministry also gave her grant to run a similar thing at Ogoni area. This body was registered in June 2018.”