Rescue 16 pregnant teenagers
Imo State Police Command yesterday arrested one Dr. Ezuma for alleged human trafficking, operating under the guise of a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Ezuma, a native of Ndiokeke Ndiakunwanta in Arondizogu in Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State, was arrested in his residence at Egbu Road, Owerri which he had allegedly registered as an NGO called women and children rights protection initiative along with 16 pregnant teenage girls.
Parading the suspect before newsmen, the state Commissioner for Police, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, said the suspect had used the NGO as a cover for his heinous activities of encouraging teenage girls to get pregnant and after delivery, they were paid N100,000 on the condition that
they would abandon their babies. “You may wish to know that when a search was conducted in the premises being used as an office for an NGO, 16 pregnant teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 years, who are at different stages of pregnancy, were seen. Also recovered in the premises was an automatic eight loader pump action gun which is a prohibited firearm.” The police boss also expressed concern over a missing newborn baby who was sold to unknown persons who were yet to be found. He said the child was delivered on November 24 by one Chinaza Nnachi, a native of Ebonyi State, who came to the home when she was stranded during her pregnancy. Katsina said efforts to locate the child proved abortive as the suspect had refused to lead the police to where the baby was being kept. “So far he has taken us to Abia State, where he said the baby is but we were unable to recover the baby; though investigations are still ongoing, the presumption at the moment is that the baby may have been used for ritual purposes.” The Imo State police boss alleged that the suspect was a gun runner who had been arraigned for unlawful possession of firearms. “It is pertinent to mention that the suspect was arraigned before an Owerri Chief Magistrate Court 1 in November 2013 for the offence of conspiracy and unlawful possession of firearms.” The police also found 10 unregistered vehicles which the suspect claimed to own; the commissioner however said Ezuma could not provide any proof of purchase or ownership of the vehicles. He warned parents and guardians to be vigilant and ensure that their children do not fall prey to exploiters, adding, that the command would continue in its campaign to ensure that the business of trading in unborn babies in the state was eradicated and the perpetrators brought to book.
From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri