…. 2 Children recovered, Chef arrested

From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Soldiers attached to the14Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Abia State on Sunday raided a baby factory in Abia and rescued 21 heavily pregnant teenagers.

Two babies (a boy and a girl) were equally rescued during the raid.

It was gathered that a 34-year-old Chef identified as Katherine Onyechi Ngwanma was arrested in the operation while the owner of the facility who apparently got wind of the invasion escapd arrest.

The baby factory said to be operated by one Mrs. Nma Achumba is located near Umunkpeyi in Isiala Ngwa South local government area of the state.

Mrs. Achumba popularly known as Nma operates the baby factory; Nma Charity Home located near the the popular Umunkpeyi market on Old Umuahia-Aba road.

She is reported to be operating the baby factory under the guise of a Charity Home which she registered with the Abia State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and has operated itfor several years.

It was also gathered that Nma Charity Home had severally been raided by security operatives from within and outside the state and on each time the place was raided, several pregnant teenage girls were rescued while the operator, Mrs. Achumba would escape arrest.

The last of such raids before the Sunday’s operation was said to be in November 2019 when the Imo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of then Police Commissioner, CP Rabiu Ladodo, acting on a tip off raided the home and rescued 14 pregnant teenage girls and 4 children.

Sunday’s raid was done by the personnel of the 145 Battalion in Umuahia, the state capital.

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One of the rescued teenagers who gave her name as Amaka Godwin, 23, disclosed that she came into the home without her parent’s knowledge.

Speaking on the Nma Charity Center which has a Signpost written “Approved by Abia State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development” , the Umunkpeyi Village Head Mr Orih Jude said that they have been calling on the state government to sanitize it’s operations in line with the law.

The 14 Army Spokesman, Lt. Prince Innocent Omale confirmed the raid to newsmen on phone.

He said the soldiers acted on a tip off.

Lt. Omale disclosed that the rescued pregnant teenage girls have been handed over to the state government.

According to a statement by the Army, items found in the place include; a Tiger Generator, a stretcher, Gas cylinder, a bag of rice, 4 cartoon of tin tomatoes, 5 litres of Vegetable oil, 2 bags of Garri and soup ingredients.

The Special Adviser to the governor of the state, Dr. Alex Otti; on Media, Ferdinand Ekeoma equally confirmed that the teenage girls were in the custody of the state government.

He said the girls were taken to a hospital in Umuahia where they would be taken care by the state government.