The Anambra State Police command, Thursday, paraded 80-year-old woman, Mrs Chidi Felicia Nwafor and 39-year-old Ms Rejoice Raymond over alleged child trafficking.
Nwafor and Raymond, from Umunya in Oyi Local Government Area (LGA) were accused of confining three children (2 boys and a girl) inside different rooms at Onitsha, as well as subjecting them to physical and emotional torture without food.
The command also paraded one Ms Nneoma Okafor of Oraeli in Aguata (LGA) suspected to have tortured her house-help to death.
The Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Haruna Muhammed, who paraded the suspects on behalf of the commissioner, CP Monday Bala Kuryas, at the command’s headquarters at Amawbia, Awka South LGA, disclosed that Nwafor and Raymond were arrested on February 19, 2021 by police operatives attached to 3-3 Police Station, Nkwelle Ezunaka, in conjunction with the local vigilante group.
“Suspects allegedly confined three children (2 boys and a girl) inside different rooms at NO.13 Akunwanta Mbamalu Street, Federal Housing Estate, Onitsha, and subjected them to physical and emotional torture without food and inflicted several wounds on their bodies, leaving them unconscious and at the point of death. The victims who were badly battered with lacerations all over their body – one with a broken arm, were found in the pool of their blood, rescued and rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
“Exhibits recovered at the scene included some fetish substances, blood stained canes, concoctions and other incriminating items. Preliminary investigations revealed that the three children were allegedly sold to the suspects by a notorious child trafficking kingpin namely Sabina Izoura ‘f’ who has been on police wanted list for child trafficking, child stealing and forgery.
“Further investigations also revealed that the suspect was involved in unlawful adoptions, using forged police reports, forged authorisation letters from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and sworn court affidavits, to sell children stolen from all parts of the country to her waiting customers, both within and outside Nigeria; including a recent attempt to smuggle out two children (a boy and a girl) allegedly stolen from Niger State since 2018,” he added.
He said the recovered children were presently under the protective care of the Anambra State Ministry for Social Welfare, Women’s and Children’s Affairs, pending when their biological parents would surface, while investigations were ongoing to bring the culprits to justice.
Also speaking, the Anambra State Commissioner for Social Welfare, Women’s and Children Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mezue, said her office would continue to provide succour to the victims ( children), while urging quick investigation and prosecution of the suspects accordingly.
But in seperate interviews, two of the suspects, Ms Nneoma Okafor denied torturing her house-help to death, while Mrs Rejoice Raymond, told the police to meet her in court because according to her, the children she was accused of trafficking, confining and torturing were legally bought from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women’s and Children Affairs.