The police in Lagos have arraigned four suspects, including the mother of a baby who sold it for N60,000 to a nurse.
The mother, Joy Uzochukwa, 27, the man who impregnated her, Chibuzor Ogbonna, 50 and two others, Margaret Obinwa, 49 and Rev. Simon Dike, 69 were arraigned before an Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, for allegedly selling and buying a new baby boy.
The accused were arraigned on a four-count charge of human trafficking, conspiracy and felony which are punishable under sections 409, 274 (1), 408, 277(1) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
The incident happened at the De- Ifes Medical Centre, Odogunyan, Ikorodu in January, 2013.
The police alleged that Joy sold the baby for N60,000 to Margaret who works as a nurse in the medical centre. Margaret, it was learnt, gave the baby to the provider of the money.
Trouble started for the accused when the man who impregnated Joy Uzochukwa, Chibuzor Ogbonna, learnt of the sale of the baby. He promptly lodged a complaint with the police who arrested the culprits. The complainant was also arrested for impregnating a lady and abandoning her.
Joy, who spoke with P.M.NEWS shortly after she was granted bail by the magistrate, said she supported the magistrate’s decision to take the baby to a motherless babies’ home than the custody of the baby being given to her lover.
“I will never allow the child to go to that man, instead, I’ll make sure they take him away. This man did not take care of me after impregnating me. Now, he wants to claim the child I suffered for. No way,” she cried.
The magistrate, Miss S. O. Solebo, granted the first and third defendants bail in the sum of N100,000 each and one surety each, while the second and fourth defendants were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties each.
Solebo also directed that the baby should be taken to the Lagos State Motherless Babies Home, Victoria Island and should remain there pending the duration of the case.
“The mother will have access to the baby from time to time to create a bond between baby and mother and the visit should be monitored by the matron of the home,” she directed.
The case has been adjourned till 13 March for trial.
—Ayodeji Dedeigbo & Damilare Okunola