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• She charges between N70,000 and N80,000 to keep pregnant women who want to sell their babies
Tony John, Port Harcourt
While nurses are trained to provide health care services that will make their patients attain and maintain quality of life, a Port Harcourt based nurse, Kelechi Okamgba, 37, has instead chosen to prey on her clients, who are only pregnant young ladies, by housing them till delivery and facilitating the sale of their babies.
The sting operation
Her game for which she takes a cut of between N70,000 and N80,000 however came to an end on March 19, men of the Rumuolumeni Police Station in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Kingsley Chukwueggu, stormed her ‘baby factory’.
At the end of the operation, which was carried out at 11am, five ladies, including four pregnant girls, were arrested. The pregnant girls were: Obianuju Nze (22), Chinemerum Orji (18), Josephine Chimena (33) and Chidinma Ndukwe (17).
Saturday Sun gathered that the pregnant girls had gone there to mortgage their pregnancies and for possible sale to their identified customers.
Okamgba, who is a native of Obioma-Ngwa in Abia State, but resident in Port Harcourt admitted in her confession her involvement in the business. She told Saturday Sun that her duty as a trained nurse was to take care of the women in her house till they were due for delivery. According to her, on agreement, the women after negotiating with the baby buyers, would pay her between N70, 000 and N80,000 to settle the bill for their accommodation, feeding and medical treatment.
In her words, “The women, some of their boyfriends bring them. They (boyfriends) find and negotiate the baby buyer themselves. The buyer(s), at the delivery of the baby, will settle them. I, will then give them bill for feeding, accommodation and treatment. That is the reason they are under my care”.
Pointing at one of the pregnant women, Okamgba said: “Like this one, the female buyer they brought pumped her belly. She has already negotiated with the woman and her boyfriend and after everything, I will give them my bill. Sometimes, I collect N80, 000 or N70, 000 from them”, she confessed.
The suspect who pleaded for leniency, further disclosed that the recent baby sold in February, was given out at N350,000. She also received N70,000 for the services rendered on the transaction.
Okamgba said: “I am a nurse. Sometimes, they come for help and I give them treatment. The only one that I have collected money from is one Kate from Abia State, who came with her boyfriend in February. After she delivered her baby safely, the next day, the boyfriend came with the buyer to my premises and they handed over the baby to the woman. The woman paid them N350, 000 and they gave me N70, 000”
Our stories by pregnant victims
One of the pregnant young girls, who gave her name as Gift Festus said: “My boyfriend brought me to Madam Kelechi Okamgba to take care of me over my pregnancy. My boyfriend said if I put to bed, someone will come for the baby who will take care of the baby. This is my first time and my elder sister is aware of the development”.
Another under-aged pregnant girl Chinemerum, told Saturday Sun that she was a victim of rape, while staying with her grandmother. She said her aunty brought her to the nurse for treatment, but, denied planning to mortgage the baby for money.
“My name is Chinemerum, a native of Imo State. I am 15 years old. I lived with my grandmother. One night, armed robbers attacked our home, stole my grandmother’s money and raped me too. My grandmother did not know I was pregnant and I didn’t know too, till my stomach started growing big. So, my aunty took me to the hospital.
“When we got to the hospital, the doctor told my aunty that my pregnancy was over three months old. So, she was advised not to opt for abortion. So, my aunty brought me to this woman (Okamgba ) to take care of me. My aunty told me that after I deliver my baby, she will take care of the baby for me, so that I can continue my life. I don’t know anything about selling the baby. We lived in the village and I do not have idea of selling babies. I am confused”, she pleaded.