A 43-year-old fake nurse, Uju Okonkwo, now in police net in Asaba, Delta State, has reportedly sold a three-month-old baby to a Lagos-based businessman for N500,000.
Also a fake lawyer, Ezurum Joseph, who claimed to have graduated from the Nnamdi Azikwe University (NAU), Anambra State, in 2011 with registration number 39017, was arrested along with Okonkwo. Over the years, Joseph has provided the hideouts where Okonkwo was using to harbour her victims and has stood as the woman’s solicitor.
The said fake lawyer confessed that he dropped out of school after he could not pass four courses, which prevented him from attending Law School. However, Joseph has since been defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
Three female human trafficking victims, Chinyere Ude (19), Happiness Igwe (20) and Esther Frank (17), who were respectively in their advanced stages of pregnancy, were rescued from the traffickers’ den.
The girls disclosed that they were brought to the hideout by Okonkwo, a widow, who claimed to have worked at Chinonso Hospital, Nkpor in Anambra State, for the purpose of selling their babies after delivery.
Men of the Special Anti- Kidnapping Squad (SAKS) raided the hideout on Okpanam Road in Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state, after a tipoff that the three girls had been kept there and would soon deliver while their babies would be sold to the highest bidders.
The state Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, who paraded the suspects with the pregnant girls in Asaba, said Okonkwo was nabbed after an intensive surveillance by his men. Gnashing her teeth on the parade ground, Okonkwo, who said she had no registered name for her organisation and had been in the game with the lawyer for over one year, confessed that she sold a baby for N500,000 to a Lagos-based businessman.
Ibrahim described the suspects as human traffickers. He said: “The matter before us is a complete case of human trafficking and other related offences. Only God knows how many innocent children they have sold into slavery, to unknown persons for money rituals.
“The suspects have started helping us in our investigations.” The commissioner said the war against crimes must be won “to stop careless wastage of lives and property”. Appealing to parents and guardians to be alive to their responsibilities in providing proper guidance to their children and wards, Ibrahim said the suspects would soon be arraigned.