By Joseph Erunke
FOUR persons including a federal civil servant based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital, have been arrested by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, on allegations of buying and selling of babies and conspiracy to commit crime.
“The federal civil servant, Mrs. Wilson Erurom and another middle aged man, Mr. Marksoo Uzer, an employee of First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi Benue State, Albert Motemi and Gabriel Gav were arrested in Makurdi, the Benue State capital through a combine effort of operatives of the agency and the Department of State Services, DSS,” a statement, Tuesday by NAPTIP’s Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Stella Nezan said.
According to the statement, “During interrogation, the woman who is the intending buyer stated that she linked up with the suspect after listening to an advertorial in one of the broadcast stations in Yenagoa in which the man boasted of assisting people to get children either through in-planting, in -vitro fertilization or outright adoption.”
“She explained that because age was not on her side, she preferred outright adoption of infant and she subsequently paid the sum of N500, 000 for the purpose,” it added.
It read further: According to her, after the safe delivery of the baby in question, she received a call from the man urging her to come to Makurdi for the baby. “By the time I arrived, I lodged in one hotel and the following day when I saw the man, he told me that the ‘’surrogacy mother’’ suddenly changed her mind. I did not know what happened and as I was trying to find my way back to Beyelsa State the following day, I was arrested by men of the DSS and handed over to NAPTIP.”
“Investigation revealed that the principal suspect in the case, Mr. Marksoo Uzer, who is suspected to have been involved in such illegal deal in the past, had promised an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) a baby after collecting the sum of N950, 000 and refused to give her the baby.
“In his confession, the principal suspect in the case and employee of one of the popular fertility hospital in Makurdi who regretted his action, attributed the development to the financial pressure brought about on him by the health challenge of his wife.
“Reacting to the development, Director General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, appreciated the inter-agency collaboration existing between NAPTIP and the DSS as demonstrated in the prompt referral of the case. She advised Nigerians to always ensure that due process is followed when confronted with issues of child adoption.
“The NAPTIP boss promised that the case will be thoroughly investigated and charged to court.”