In spite of the government’s efforts at curbing the menace of child trafficking some persons in the society are still bent on indulging in the illicit business.
And so it was that one Patience Onyenwoke (widow) from Ugirike Ikeduru and a native doctor and charcoal dealer, Charles Ibe popularly called ‘Bushman’ from Lude, Ahiara, Ahiazu Mbaise ran out of luck when the eagle eyes of the Ikeduru Central Vigilante Security outfit nabbed them in the process of selling an unborn child.
The duo of Patience and her alleged lover Bushman had arranged to sell for N150,000 an unborn child which pregnancy was carried by an Enugu girl called Nnenna Iboke. Patience was harbouring the girl and taking care of her pending delivery when she would collect the money.
However, the plan leaked and was intercepted by one Samuel Duru, the Co-ordinator of the Vigilante in Ikembara. Nnenna has been promised N150,000 for the child and Bushman who brought her to Patience was said to be fending for her upkeep.
When Duru and his team made the arrests they handed them over to the Operation Flush security team of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) stationed at the Ikeduru local government area headquarters, Iho, where they all confessed to the crime. However, investigation is yet to reveal the identity of the prospective buyer.
They were moved to NSCDC head office in Owerri where the Public Relations Officer Mr. Lowell Chimeziri confirmed their custody and investigation. Speaking with Edge Express the PRO expressed disappointment and confirmed that in their investigation they have arrested the man behind the pregnancy, one Darlington from Obeama, Nguru Mbaise.
According to the PRO, ”the man has written an undertaking to take care of the pregnancy until she delivers. We are not even talking about marriage now. The Bushman is involved in child trafficking because he wanted to sell the unborn baby. On their proposed action, he said, ”the case is still under investigation and I will inform you on the next line of action.”
Chimeziri further confirmed that after investigation they will transfer the matter to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). When Edge Express spoke with Bushman, he denied the charge stating that he was only helping an abandoned and suffering pregnant woman by taking her to another woman that will be taking care of her.
Said he, ”they are levying falsehood against me, I was only helping the wife of a young man suffering during this Covid-19 period and only took her to another place where they will take care of her. I am an old man. I have lots of children including grandchildren. I have no need for additional child. I was bailed when Darlington surfaced and was handed back the woman.”
The suspects were released Thursday and were expected to report back Monday. Patience it was learnt is a homeless widow with about 8 children and survives barely by farming for people. She is being accommodated by another kind hearted woman who is not home where she tends the compound and used the opportunity to accommodate Nnenna pending her delivery before collecting money for the child. After release the said Patience was alleged to have been issuing threats warning to deal with all those that took part in her detention adding that now that she is out she would do something more serious. Earlier Duru alleged that on arrest Bushman offered to compromise them but they refused and pressed on because they are more interested in the matter.