Operatives of Anti-Child Theft Unit of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command have arrested seven syndicates that specialize in stealing children and selling them off for financial gains.
The Command’s spokesperson, CSP Nudam Fredrick, disclosed this in a press release, saying that the arrested syndicates included a medical doctor and a lab scientist with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital as well as a serving officer of the Nigerian Army on the 8th of May 2020 in ITU and and Calabar.
The release named the syndicates to be “Dr. Victor Onongha, 42yrs of No.3, Goldie Lane, Calabar and a Medical Doctor at UCTH; Hope Jonah Offor, 42yrs, Lab Scientist, General Hospital, Calabar; Patience Livingstone, officer of the Nigeria Army, No. 146, Ebrutu Barracks, Calabar; Clement Edem Sunday, 33yrs of No. 67, Atakpa Street, Calabar; Ekaette Okon Akpan, 48yrs of No. 19, Gibson Street, Calabar; Abigail Asuquo Davis, aged 30yrs of Ada Akpan village, Itu L.G.A; and Grace Asuquo Davis, 23yrs of Ada Akpan village, Itu L.G.A.”
“The suspects were arrested in Itu, Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross River State following a tip-off that one Grace Asuquo Davis ‘f’, the mother of a 5-month-old baby conspired with her sister, one Abigail Asuquo Davis and sold the said child at the cost of two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N250, 000.00) to one Dr. Victor Onongha. The transaction was perfected through two human trafficking agents, one Clement Edem ‘m’ and Ekaette Okon Akpan ‘f’. The said doctor was arrested and he confessed to the offence, and led the Police to the arrest of one Hope Jonah ‘f’, a lab scientist working at General Hospital, Calabar who bought the child from him.”
“On further interrogation, Hope Jonah ‘f’ confessed to the offence and also led the Police to the Nigerian Army Barracks, Ebrutu, Calabar where one Mrs. Patience Livingstone was arrested and the baby was recovered. Patience Livingstone on her part admitted that her husband Livingstone Orji bought the child at the cost of six hundred and sixty thousand naira (N660, 000.00) from the lab scientist, Hope Jonah Offor ‘f’. Case under investigation, suspects would be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.”
“Furthermore, on 6th February, 2020, the Anti-Child Trafficking Unit received information that one Ukeme Ability Henry ‘f’ of Owot Uta village in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area lured one Emem Uwem Okon ‘f’ who was pregnant and due for delivery to Oyigbo, Rivers State and handed her over to a child trafficker popularly known as Dr. Oliver through an agent named David other name unknown. That David took Emem Uwem Okon (the pregnant lady) to a certain woman who nursed and delivered her of a baby boy. After her delivery, David conveyed Emem Uwem Okon ‘f’ to where they met Imaobong Innocent ‘f’ who joined them in the car to a point where Emem Uwem was dispossessed of her baby by the said Imaobong Innocent and the sum of four hundred thousand naira (N400, 000.00) was paid to David. On further interrogation, Imaobong Innocent implicated one Esther Akpan Dan ‘f’ of Usung Esop Obio, Ekit Itam 11 in the case.”
“That on the 7th of February, 2020, Imaobong brought Emem back to Akwa Ibom State where one Ukeme Ability and her boyfriend (Imo Udoudo) was contacted and was instructed to take Emem Uwem to Nto Obio Ikang village in Obot Akara where Emem Uwem was confined for a month and some days. Ukeme Ability later came back to where Emem Uwem was still in confinement with two male children suspected to be stolen and thereafter carried them to an unknown place. All four suspects arrested so far have made useful statements leading to the recovery of a 4-year-old child from a secluded area in Aba, Abia State. The 4-year-old child has since been reunited with the family.”
“Similarly, following a complaint by one Glory Archibong ‘f’, that she met one Gloria Michael Agbor ‘f’ a.k.a “Mma Nurse” at Ikom, Cross River State, who sent her to her house in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, under the care of one Utibe David Akpan ‘f’ who restricted her freedom, with intention of selling her baby after delivery, Operatives of Anti-Child Theft, Uyo arrested the following suspects: Gloria Michael Agbor ‘f’, aged 25yrs; Utibe David Akpan ‘f’, aged 17yrs; Arit Aduak Nyong‘f’, aged 59yrs; Cyril Osunkwu ‘m’, aged 50yrs, and Michael Agbor ‘m’, aged 34yrs. Suspects who belonged to a child trafficking syndicate were arrested by Police Operatives in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States on the strength of the complaint.”
“In their separate statements, Utibe David Akpan ‘f’ confessed to the crime and implicated a traditional birth attendant, one Arit Aduak Nyong ‘f’ who usually take delivery of pregnant women. The principal suspect, one Gloria Michael Agbor ‘f’ confessed to the crime and linked the detectives to the arrest of one Cyril Osunkwu ‘m’ who is a partner in the illicit business and who normally convey babies for sale to buyers. She also implicated her husband, one Michael Agbor ‘m’ as a principal partner in the crime. Both Cyril Osunkwu ‘m’ and Michael Agbor ‘m’ admitted the allegation.”
“In a related development, sometime in August, 2019, relying on a tip-off in a case of child trafficking, Operatives of Anti-Child Theft Unit arrested the following: Pastor Ndukeabasi Isaac Bassey ‘m’, aged 27yrs – General Overseer, Alpha Ministry, Akpambang junction, Mbierebe; Mercy Bokime Friday ‘f’ – an auxiliary nurse from Nna Umiang, Mbierebe Obio; and Theresa Anthony Aaron ‘f’, aged 26yrs of Nna Umiang, Mbierebe.”
“The child trafficking syndicate who hide under the umbrella of running a Church and medical practice to commit crime were arrested in different locations. Investigation revealed that the suspects, Pastor Ndukeabasi Isaac ‘f’, Mercy Bokime ‘f’ and Theresa Anthony Aaron ‘f’ conspired among themselves and sold a baby delivered on 10th November, 2019 by Obedience Kokoette Philip ‘f’ of Nna Umiang, Mbierebe Obio in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, at the cost of three hundred thousand naira (N300, 000.00). On interrogation, the suspects, Pastor Ndukeabasi Isaac Bassey ‘m’, Mercy Bokime ‘f’ and Theresa Anthony ‘f’ made useful statements and admitted that the proceeds of the illicit transaction which took place at Stadium Road was shared among themselves. Investigation ongoing and suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigation.”
The release concluded by saying “The Akwa Ibom State Police Command under the leadership of CP IMOHIMI EDGAL enjoins the good people of Akwa Ibom State not to relent in giving useful information to the Police through our dedicated hotlines as the Command is poised to serve the people better. The dedicated hotlines amongst others include: 07031823963, 07019358767, 09028528344.”