Policemen attached to the Makinde Division of the Lagos Police Command, have arrested one Ogechi Njoku and two of her accomplices for allegedly stealing a week-old baby from Imo State, and selling him to a couple in the Cele, Mile 2 area of Lagos State for the sum of N1m.
Njoku, 25, was arrested by the police last week Wednesday around 2am on her way to deliver the baby to the couple.
Her interrogation led the State Intelligence Bureau, which handled the matter, to arrest her two accomplices – Patience Nwaogbo and Ngozi Izuora.
Njoku, an apprentice in Onitsha, Anambra State, began her long journey to the waiting arms of the law when she was sent by her accomplices last Tuesday to Lagos, and had travelled in a car with the baby throughout the night.
It was gathered that the commercial driver’s suspicion was raised when Njoku could not breastfeed the baby when he cried, but instead fed him baby formula.
He was said to have alerted the police on patrol when they got to the Oshodi Oke area of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, where the suspect was questioned and when she could not give satisfactory answers as to how she came about the baby, was arrested.
According to the police, Njoku, Nwaogbo and Izuora have made useful statements in their confession while their collaborator, said to be Njoku’s aunt, is presently at large.
Njoku, who claimed to be a mother of four children, confessed that the plan was to hand over the baby to the desperate couple in the Cele area of Lagos, adding that she had never been to the Centre of Excellence.
“I have not been to Lagos before”, she said. “I work as an apprentice in a shop in Onitsha, Anambra State. It was my aunt, Madam Ngozi, who asked me to bring the baby to the couple after they had made payment to her”.
“My aunt collected the baby from a lady in Imo who wanted to dispose of him. I do not know how much she gave the mother of the baby. I started off this journey at about 11am on Tuesday. I took a private car and my aunt paid the fare.
“She had collected the N1m, but she had yet to give me any share as of when I travelled. While in the car, I could not breastfeed the baby. I was giving him only baby food.
“When we got to Lagos, the baby started crying and I gave him more formula. I had not met the buyers before. I was only given their phone number and I was to meet them in the Cele area. The wife of the man is barren, and she wanted to adopt the baby. The police have arrested the couple too, but they were released on bail”, she added.
Njoku, who insisted that she did not mean to harm the baby, said her own children were with a guardian in Imo.
“The driver suspected that I was not the baby’s mother and reported me to policemen on patrol. I have four children too in Imo. They are with a guardian. But I am not living with my husband. We had a quarrel”, she disclosed.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspect, said the police were hot on the heels of other members of the baby trafficking syndicate in Imo State.
CP Owoseni further stated that the baby was under police protection at the Family Support Unit and is yet to be reunited with his parents.