A couple, Richard and Chidimma Benson, has been detained by operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Unit for allegedly selling their one-week old baby boy for N200,000 to rent an apartment in the city.The couple, who hail from Isiala-Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State, confessed to the crime, saying it was hard times that forced them into the decision.
Narrating her part in the deal, the wife said: “I have given birth to four children, one is late. I have two now. So when I became pregnant I told my husband that we would sell the baby and use the money to relocate from my village to township to start a better life. He refused but I forced him into agreeing with my plan.
“My husband is a labourer, he is a wheelbarrow pusher. I owe debts everywhere and I needed to settle them. So, we sold the baby for N200,000 but I later learnt the baby was sold for N500,000.”Her husband, Richard said: “We were owing N10,000 and the hardship was too much for us to bear. I went round seeking for help but no help came. We wanted to relocate to the township for a chance of a better life, that was why we sold the baby to enable us raise money and rent an apartment in the city.”
Parading the suspects alongside other seven child traffickers yesterday at the IGP complex in Aluu, Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP Monitoring Team, DCP Benneth Igwe, disclosed that the team rescued six pregnant women and arrested seven child traffickers in connection with the business.
He said: “Based on reliable intelligence about a notorious child trafficking cartel operating in Obigbo-Afam in Oyigbo Local Government Area and Omagwa, Aluu, the operatives burst into Afrique Hotel in Oyigbo and rescued six pregnant women awaiting delivery.
“The hotel is used as a harbinger by suspected child traffickers. Information further revealed that on October 7, the victims, one Richard Benson and his wife, Chidinma Benson, delivered a baby boy at Grace Land Maternity Homes, Afam Obigbo.
“The maternity is owned by a quack nurse called Grace Daniel. After delivery, the parents were paid N200,000 by one Mrs. Rose Onyia and the baby was later sold to Mrs. Eucharia Jaja of Omagwa for N500,000 and thereafter, the baby was resold by Mrs. Jaja to her potential client in Lagos. Operatives are on a trail to recover the baby.
“The cartel pay N150,000 for a girlchild and N200,000 for a boy to the mother. The baby is later trafficked to an unknown destination for amounts between N1 million and N1.5 million,” he said. Meanwhile, another couple, Eucharia Ihunna, aged 48 and her husband confessed that they have been in the business for four years and have sold over four babies.
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