Operatives of the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos, have started investigation into the alleged trafficking of a day old baby on Jakande Estate, in the Oshodi Isolo area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the baby was taken from the mother, Blessing Emmanuel, by the grandmother, Patience, on the day he was born.
He was reportedly handed over to one Ijeoma Okechukwu, a former neighbour of the Emmanuels on Shola Adewunmi Street.
A few days after Okechukwu took the baby, she was said to have paid Blessing and her mother N250,000.
It was learnt that 22-year-old Blessing told residents that her baby was dead.
She later opened up to a church member, Comfort Ogwuebu, who helped her family with accommodation, that her child was with Okechukwu.
Ogwuebu reportedly alerted policemen from the Zone 2 Police Command, who arrested the suspect and recovered the child.
The woman, who is a lawyer, said during a parade on Tuesday that she was initially told that the baby died from convulsion and epilepsy.
“I assisted her family to secure accommodation in an uncompleted building beside my house on the estate. Sometime in October, Blessing’s brother announced that her sister had been delivered of a baby boy and I rejoiced with him. In the evening, I saw her mother and congratulated her. But she gave me a stare and left. I wondered if I said anything wrong.
“The next Sunday, I saw the daughter in church and apologised for not coming to greet the baby in the house. She said there was no baby. I asked if the baby died, but she said her mother took the baby from her. She said he was with her aunt who fed him with milk and water. I was suspicious.
“A week later, her mother called me and apologised for her reaction when I congratulated her. She said after Blessing was delivered of the baby, she (Blessing) was sick and even the baby was as small as a rat. She said the baby was so ill that he had to be taken to a herbal centre where they said he had epilepsy and convulsion. She said the baby had died from the illness.”
Ogwuebu said she was not satisfied with the explanation and prodded Blessing, who confessed that the baby was sold to Okechukwu.
She said she alerted the police and Okechukwu, who was her former tenant, was arrested.
Blessing told PUNCH Metro that she had earlier had a child for her boyfriend, one Valentine, who got her pregnant the second time.
She said she resisted the pressure to abort the pregnancy because she didn’t want to die.
The Akwa Ibom State indigene said she was bothered about what would become of the baby when her mother told her Okechukwu had agreed to take him after delivery.
“I gave birth in the morning. She (Okechukwu) came at night and asked if my mother had discussed with me and I said yes. She said she would give me some money to start a business. She paid for the hospital bill