Lagos seals orphanage, issues 14-day ultimatum to unregistered homes

Ambode. Photo:
By Tope Templer Olaiya

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Following the discovery of a baby factory by the police in Igando area of Lagos State on Monday, the couple operating the facility, Adeola and Binta Adebayo, yesterday led officials of the Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Alausa to their illegal home, Holy Infant Orphanage, operating at 3, Alhaji Jimoh Sodiq Street, Igando, which was promptly sealed off after rescuing two babies and a little boy.

The Enforcement Unit also took custody of three pregnant teenagers earlier rescued by the police on Monday at the home of the Adebayos located at 1, Treasure Palace Close, off Hand of Fair Bus Stop, Ikotun-Igando Road. The three pregnant ladies are Favour Osikweme, 19; Precious Emmanuel, 17; and Onome Oputi. 

In a bid to stem the menace of child trafficking, the Lagos State government has issued a 14-day ultimatum to operators of unregistered orphanages and homes in the state to register their homes or risk forfeiture of their facilities. 
According to the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Agboola Dabiri, the existence of illegal orphanages not duly registered with government, makes such facilities susceptible to unscrupulous practices capable of negatively affecting the image of the state and the public at large.

Dabiri stated that henceforth, there shall be no more hiding place for owners of illegal orphanages if they fail to comply with the laid down standard by the body regulating activities of orphanages, motherless babies and correctional homes in the state. 

“It is mandatory for all orphanages, home owners and operators in Lagos State to register with Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, those who are yet to do so must comply within 14 days from now to forestall closure of such illicit homes.” he said.

Among allegations leveled against the couple now in the custody of the police, owners of the sealed home, it was discovered that the orphanage does not have the approval of the state government to commence operation as the operators had earlier been denied certificate of operation due to unavailability of necessary facilities. 

However, operator of Holy Infant Orphanage, Mrs. Binta Adebayo, who claimed she was still processing the certificate of operation with the state, denied running the home with an ulterior intention. The 42-year-old suspect claimed she gave birth to nine children and her kids and grandchildren were the ones at the facility.

When The Guardian visited the home before the arrival of the state officials, the home manager and matron were seen carting away property from the orphanage. They disappeared into thin air when the enforcement team arrived.
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