After three weeks of investigation, the Monitoring Unit of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Imo State Police Command has nabbed a couple for allegedly selling their daughter, Chinecherem, for N400,000, a few hours after delivery.
The couple – Ifeanyi, 35, and Emmaculata Elijah, 30 – are indigenes of Amakpu- Umuba, in the Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State. But they are residents of Irete, in the Owerri West LGA of Imo State.
Other suspects said to have been involved in the crime are Grace Mezu, 55, of Umuoba Uratta, in the Owerri North LGA; Fedalia Ariri, 55, also of Umuoba Uratta; and Amarachi Obiekwe, 49, of Osina, in the Ideato North LGA.
Parading them on Monday at the command headquarters in Owerri, the state capital, the Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, said the couple conspired on January 26, 2018, a few hours after giving birth to the girl and sold her to Obiekwe, through Mezu and Ariri.
Enwerem, who disclosed that the couple had given birth to seven children, said the whereabouts of two were still unknown. According to him, the woman was delivered of the baby at home, while the waiting buyers paid immediately to take possession of the newborn baby.
The police spokesperson, who explained that the baby was recovered on February 17 in Lagos State, said the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, had ordered that the matter is charged to court at the end of the investigation. Enwerem said,
“The innocent baby was denied love and parental care immediately she was given birth to. The parents conspired to take N400,000 instead of their daughter.
“The Commissioner of Police, who is pissed off with this act of wickedness and crime against humanity, has ordered that the wheels of justice and investigation be accelerated so that the matter would be charged to court.
“Having found out that the mother of the child was part of the conspiracy, the CP has ordered that the innocent baby be taken from her and handed over to the Imo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.
“The suspects have made confessional statements and we are working to ensure that justice is served. The Commissioner of Police advised that those who are in need of children should go through legal means to adopt them.”
There was a mild drama when the couple and the other suspects started accusing one another. While the three other suspects and the child’s father, Ifeanyi, said the baby’s mother was part of the crime, Emmaculata denied knowledge of it. Speaking to newsmen, the woman who allegedly bought the baby, Obiekwe, said she gave the couple the agreed amount in their house.
The father of the baby, who confessed that he traded his daughter for money, said the crime was planned and hatched by himself and his wife. He said he and his wife gave Mezu, who brought the buyer, N6,000 from the amount that was paid for the baby.