From CHUKS ONUOHA, Umuahia
Abia is in the news again. The sale of babies seemed to be lucrative enough to attract more buyers and sellers from Anambra, Imo and Rivers to the state. To say the least, the development is bizarre and puzzling, according to feelers from the police command during a news briefing yesterday. The force held a similar media parley two weeks ago.
The security agency yesterday reeled out yet another startling revelations. In recent incidents, a nine-month-old pregnant woman and mother of two, who was tricked out of her matrimonial home in Imo State to Aba, by her friend who had already made arrangements for buyers of her baby, told the police that she did not know why and how she accompanied her friend to Abia State’s commercial hub.
Ms Ogechi Eberendu, who hails from an undisclosed community in Imo State, was rescued by the police while she was being induced to deliver the baby for the waiting buyers. Five suspects including a male, are in police custody. They would soon be charged to court for the alleged crime, the police said. The suspects who came from different states such as Rivers, Imo and Anambra for the purchase of the unborn child, are helping the police in their investigation. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Tilli, stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen on how the police are curbing crimes, warning evil doers to flee Abia or face the consequences .
Tilli, who paraded the suspects at the command‘s headquarters along Bende Road, Umuahia, was his second briefing in two weeks. He said that the woman whose pregnancy was nine months, was being induced to have the baby for anxious buyers. Tilli said that the suspects were arrested at 8.30 pm last Sunday, April 14 at an eatery based in Osisioma Area of Aba. The suspects are Nkeiruka Ogbodo, Uchechi Duru, Ngozi Obasi, Tochukwu Uwakwe and Ugochukwu Okafor, the only male among them. One suspect, while narrating how she tricked Ogechi, said that she was doing a “good Samaritan” work by finding somebody who would marry Ogechi with her pregnancy since she had been having children in her father’s house.
But Ogechi disagreed. She told Daily Sun that she did not know what the suspect was talking about, stating that she has a husband with whom she bore two children. She said that she did not even know how and why she followed the lady to Aba, leaving her husband and children. “My husband did not know where I am now , but I have called him on phone and he will be coming here to take me home. My husband did not know my whereabouts . “In fact, I don’t even know what is going on. All I know is that we were there having drinks when the police came and arrested us and took us here. “While I was with them, they gave me so many things to drink.
I did. not know what they were,” Ogechi said. Meanwhile, Mr. Tilli has advised parents to be mindful of what they do, stating that criminals and evil doers are on the prowl. He, however, assured Abians that his command will ensure that crimes would be a thing of the past in the state soon. Meanwhile, a 32-year-old Onitsha-based trader, Obinna Obu, who was arrested in Umuode Community in Osisioma Local Government Area also in Abia State, while negotiating for the sale of his six-year-old daughter, Adaobi, after lying to her mother that he was taking her to Aba for shopping, has said that the suspected middle-man used juju on him to sell the girl. Obu, who hails from Umudim, Imeziowa in Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State, was arrested with his alleged agent, Eze Ochiegbu, 25, and a native of Isialangwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.
Commissioner Tilli said that they wanted to sell the child for N500,000 before they were apprehended. Adaobi is Obu’s only daughter. The two suspects were arrested at Tonimas, by Umuode in Osisioma area last Wednesday, April 10, at about 5.00pm. Speaking to Daily Sun during the parade, Obu said that he had problem with his business and confided in his friend, Ochiegbu, who advised him to sell the daughter to enable him revive it. “He said: “I should bring my daughter for sale and I asked him why he should be telling me that type of thing and he kept coming.
One day, he came again and I told him that I did not have money and he said that he would bring money and when I brought my daughter, he said I should follow him with my daughter. My wife was not aware that I wanted to sell our baby. My wife is coming from Onitsha. It was just like he used juju on me because I was obeying him. First, he said that he was going to pay N500,000, later, he said N300,000 and after, he said he would pay N210,000. He was just dribbling me,” Obu said. Little Adaobi who spoke to Daily Sun confirmed that Obinna is her father.
“He is my daddy. He said I should follow him to Aba, he did not tell me that he was going to sell me there. He only told my mummy that he was taking me to Aba,” Adaobi said.