A couple, Adeola Adebayo, 50; and 40-year-old Binta Adebayo have been arrested by the Lagos police command for allegedly harbouring pregnant women and selling newborn babies.
The couple residing at the Treasure Palace Close in the Igando area were arrested on Sunday by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the command.
Three heavily pregnant women were reportedly found at their apartment as at the time of arrest.
They were identified as Favour Osikwemeh, 19; Precious Emmanuel, 27; and 25-year-old Onome Oputi.
The police alleged that the couple were in the business of harbouring pregnant women and selling their babies without consent.
Osikweme, who is seven-month pregnant, narrating her ordeal said a friend, Lepa, took her to Binta in December 2017 to stay with the woman until she put to bed.
She explained that Binta had yet to acquaint her with the plan to sell her unborn baby.
She said, “I was not told it is a baby factory. I was staying with my friend called Lepa. She told me that her apartment was too small and she took me to the woman’s house to give birth to my child.
“I have been with the woman since December 2017. She (Binta) told my mum that I was working for her, but we didn’t negotiate payment for my child.”
Another pregnant girl had this to say: “My sister took me to the woman after I was impregnated by a foreigner. The woman then promised to settle me as soon as I am delivered of my baby,” she said.
Upon interrogation, Adeola said he was not aware his wife ran a baby factory, claiming that they were not living together.
He said, “The police arrested us for running a baby factory, but I don’t know anything about it. I was arrested in front of my house. The police interrogated the pregnant women who told them that I didn’t know anything about it.”
His wife, Binta denied running a baby factory saying the pregnant women were workers in a shop where she sold drinks wholesale.
She said, “I am not running any baby factory. I have never sold any baby. Two of the three women only helped me with my business. They help me sell drinks at the shop. They don’t stay with me.
“The other woman (Oputi) is my daughter-in-law, and she has been living with me for over four years. She is my son’s wife who is now in Cameroon and she has two children for him. If I sold babies, how come I didn’t sell my two grandchildren?”
The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, parading the suspects said they usually sold children without their mothers’ consent.
He said, “They harboured young pregnant ladies until they are delivered of their babies. Afterwards, these babies are taken from them and sold without the consent of the young mothers.
“During the raid, three young women were rescued. They are Favour Osikwemeh, 19, (seven months pregnant), Precious Emmanuel, 27, (seven months pregnant), and Onome Oputi, 25, (nine months pregnant).
“The victims will be handed over to NAPTIP for care, while the couple will be prosecuted.”
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