Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad attached to the Abia State Police Command have arrested a man, Nkem Nwokocha, 54, and his wife, identified as “Nurse”, for allegedly running a baby factory at Ogbor Hill, in the Aba area of the state.
PUNCH gave the names of the rescued pregnant women as: Chidinma Chukwu (29), of Isiala Mbano community, Imo State; Kelechi Sampson (20); Happiness Godwin, of Mboko Umuanunu village, Obingwa, Abia State; Okoronkwo Mercy, of Alayi, in the Bende LGA, Abia State; and Oluebube Onyabu, of Umuanunu village, in the Obingwa LGA, Abia State.
Nwokocha who hails from Obegu village in the Ugwunagbo Local Government Area of the state said his wife was a midwife who had been running the maternity home for over six years.
He said that the home was not legally registered with the government.
“I’m aware of what my wife is doing. Most times when I returned from my place of work, I saw these girls and when I asked them what they were doing in my house, my wife told me that their parents registered them with her for treatment.
When the girls put to bed, my wife takes the babies to the welfare home we are working with. I don’t make any money from this because I have my own business and I am comfortable,” he told journalists.
The State’s Commissioner of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, who paraded the suspects said the police acted on a tip-off.
“Any crime that involves the sale of children is against humanity and God. Sometimes, it’s even hard to imagine that a child will be stolen and sometimes, their parents are involved. But we are not going to accept it. We are asking members of the public to give us useful information that will assist us in this direction,” he said.
The pregnant women told journalists that they were not legally married, and that their parents and those responsible for their pregnancies were not aware that they went to the “maternity home”.
PUNCH reports that they denied any intention to sale their babies, but could not state any plan for their upkeep after birth.
Two of the pregnant girls, Mercy and Kelechi, said they were referred to “Nurse” by a woman for treatment of stomach ulcer. Others said that they were only on a visit.
Photo Credit: PUNCH