From PAUL ORUDE, Bauchi
A housewife who stole a one-month-old baby boy at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, has confessed that she carried out the evil act in a desperate bid to save her marriage.
Mallama Halima, a 40-year-old mother of five children, said her husband divorced her because she could not bear him a male child.
Speaking at the GRA Police Station where she was detained following her arrest, Halima said she was bitter after being divorced. She then decided to steal the baby boy in a desperate bid to return to her marital home. But her action has caused more problems as Halima’s husband refused to accept her and the baby. It was learnt that he maintained that he was not the one who fathered the child. Halima’s husband, Daily Sun learnt, pressed his wife for details of how she came about the baby and Halima eventually confessed. The husband promptly advised her to return the baby and it was in the process of returning the baby that she was arrested.
Mother of the stolen baby, Hauwa, said she gave birth to her baby on September 14 and was at the teaching hospital and was yet to be discharged. Hauwa said the drama began on that fateful Monday, October 15, when she discovered that her baby was missing. She said, “I was sleeping when the nurse on duty came to administer drug on me. I went to the baby’s cot and did not see him. I thought the nurse was attending to him. “When I went to meet the nurse on duty, she said the baby was not with her too. And that was when we started looking for the baby.” The missing baby’s father, Sani Mohammed, a trader, said the development was a big trauma for his wife because that was her first delivery.
“We reported the matter at the GRA station and as God wants it, not quite long after, the woman who stole our baby and her husband returned it to the hospital.” Daily Sun learnt that the incident put the nurse on duty in trouble as she was arrested but Halima, in her confession, said she acted alone. Chairman of the Bauchi State Nursing and Midwives Association, Alhaji Sagir told Daily Sun in an interview that he was optimistic that when investigations were concluded, the nurse on duty would be released. “The woman who stole the baby has been arrested and the nurse on duty is not implicated in any way.
Ours is a respected profession. We are involved in saving human lives, caring for the sick and we are proud of our members.” When contacted, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Alkali Mohammed Alkali, told newsmen that probably the woman capitalised on the opportunity given to visitors and relations of patients to steal the baby. Alkali said the hospital management would henceforth intensify security measures to ensure that such ugly incident did not repeat itself.