The Rivers State Police Command on Tuesday paraded three pregnant women and a 36-year-old man suspected to be involved in producing babies for sale.
The ‘baby factory’ suspects, who were arrested at Igwuruta in Ikwerre Local Government Area, on July 5, 2014, were identified as Odinchinma Nwala (25), Glory Anyanwu (22), Goodness Nwankwo (19), and Stanley Okechukwu (male, 36).
The Divisional Police Officer of Igwuruta Police Station, Mr. Bello Muhammed, told newsmen that they were able to apprehend the suspects after being alerted by well meaning Nigerians.
Muhammed, a Chief Superintendent of Police, explained that it got signals that someone was operating a baby factory in Umuehe in Igwuruta, Ikwerre Local Government Area.
“We sent a patrol team that went and confirmed the information. When the police traced and arrested Okechukwu, who took the team to where he kept the girls on Saturday, July 5, 2014, it was discovered that the suspects had been involved in the business for a long time.
“The girls were brought from different local government areas, and further investigation revealed that after delivering, he will settle (pay) the girls N100,000 per baby girl and N150,000 for a baby boy before selling the babies,” the DPO said.
Mohammed said he was following the directive of the state Commissioner of Police to enlighten the communities within his jurisdiction on the need for landlords to be mindful of the people they habour in their houses and their occupations.
He explained that investigation was ongoing to get to the root of the matter, adding that child trafficking remains an offence in the country.
However, Okechukwu, who spoke with newsmen, denied operating a baby factory. He added that he was only rendering assistance to the young pregnant women.
Also, one of the pregnant women, who identified herself as Glory Anyanwu, said she was eight months pregnant, even as she denied that they were being kept for a baby producing business.
“He (Okechukwu) saw me in this condition and decided to assist me by offering me and my unborn baby accommodation. But I know the person that impregnated me,” Anyanwu said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has again raised the alarm over the congestion of police cells in the state following the ongoing strike by judiciary workers.
The state chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria had embarked on an indefinite strike since June 10, over the crisis in the state judiciary.