It was a failed plan for Nkechi Obi, a 25-year-old mother of four who wanted to sell a one-week-old baby boy, who was stolen from Onitsha, Anambra State, to a barren woman in Lagos. It all started when the driver of the cab she boarded discovered that she could not breastfeed the baby she claimed was hers.
The suspect who claimed to be a farmer and an apprentice from Onitsha, confessed that she was on her way to Lagos to hand over the the boy to the buyer at Cele Bus Stop, along the Oshodi/Apapa Express-way when her plans was botched and subsequently arrested. The baby was stolen from his biological mother who left her husband on discovering that she was pregnant.
The whole thing started when the driver of the vehicle she chartered from Asaba, Delta State became suspicious over the inability of his passenger to breastfeed the baby even as the boy was crying ceaselessly through the six hour journey to Lagos. The driver suspected her to be a baby factory syndicate when he discovered that the woman could not breast-feed the child despite his continuous crying during the long distance journey.
Nkechi the suspect claimed that the baby was given to her by her boss who who she simply gave her name as Ngozi in Onitsha to take to a ready buyer in Lagos.
She narrates: “I was in the shop located at 2 Ourline Street, Onitsha Main Market on Tuesday, when my madam, who I sell clothes for, came and ordered me to go and change into something better, that I was to embark on a journey to Lagos.
“Thereafter, she handed the baby to me and gave me a food flask and baby milk. She only gave me the telephone number of the woman I was to hand the baby over to. The woman in question is barren. I was to meet with her at Cele Bus Stop. The would-be buyer was arrested.”
Asked if her husband was aware of her journey to Lagos, Obi who claimed to be an orphan, said she had separated from her husband, who she alleged used her as a baby factory.
‘I was baby factory for my husband’
She said: “I got married aged 16 years to Polycap Eze, who had no child from his wife. I was brought in to bear children for them. After the birth of my fourth child, he drove me out of the house, saying I have fulfilled the purpose for which he married me.
“I moved in with one of my relatives who later introduced me to my madam.”
Speaking on her arrest, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said when the lady was arrested, she claimed that the baby was hers.
He said: “She claimed at first that her lover abandoned her with the baby. Later, she confessed that her aunt was a co-suspect. Two other persons, who have connection with the sale of the one-week-old baby, were also arrested.
“We have kept the baby in proper custody through the Family Support Unit. Further investigation into the case has taken us to the eastern part of the country where the principal suspect lives.
“But she fled on hearing that we have arrested Nkechi Obi. We will ensure that everyone behind this case is arrested.”