Children are a gift from God and should be cherished and appreciated no matter what. Child trafficking is one vice the Nigerian government is still trying to curb, but when some people face a certain level of hardship, they might top it up with unspeakable stupid acts in the name of ‘trying to survive. How do we protect children from child traffickers when their parents are involved?
On the 17th of December, 2015, Mr. and Mrs. Okwuchukwu Ibekwe sold their 5-month old son for the sum of
N400,000 to one Mrs. Chinelo, a child trafficker who stays in Ihiala, Anambra State. The Lagos State Police Command arrested 28-year old Okwuchukwu Ibekwe, who lived in Iyana Iba area of Lagos, after his wife reported him for selling their son.
According to the accused, he sold his son because he was having difficulties in his business and had carried out the transaction with his wife’s consent. It was learnt that Chinelo had made a payment of N250,000 to the father of the child, Okwuchukwu Ibekwe; and they agreed that the mother of the baby would get N150,000, which would be paid later.
However, when Mr. Ibekwe returned from Anambra state weeks after, he refused to give the wife her share, so she reported the matter to the police and fled the house after making the report. Okwuchukwu was subsequently arrested and detained at the Police Gender Unit, Ikeja.
Police operatives have gone in search of Chinelo in Anambra state but she is nowhere to be found, same with the baby. Chinelo’s husband has been arrested as they await her return from the run. While being paraded on Wednesday, Okwuchukwu said he collected N400,000 from Chinelo in exchange for his son with his wife’s consent. He said:
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“Chinelo was to give me N400,000 for the baby. My wife was the one who suggested that we dispose of the baby to meet our business needs.
“But Chinelo gave me N250,000 for the baby when I went to deliver him to her in Anambra State.
“When I returned, my wife and I quarrelled and she ran away for three days. I did not know that she went to report the matter to the police. She was concerned with her own share of N150,000.
“I sell vehicle spare parts in Ladipo market. “It was a lawyer who called me that my wife had reported me to the police, and that I should come and see her. When I went there, I was arrested.
“I do not know the whereabouts of my son. I did not know Chinelo would run away with my child.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspect, said the case was undergoing intense investigation. Efforts to recover the baby and arrest Chinelo are being made, as the couple want their baby back and is ready to refund the payment made.