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Police bust child selling syndicate in Lagos, recover week old baby

By Odita Sunday, Lagos and Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
23 September 2019   |   3:33 am
A syndicate allegedly engaged in selling children has been uncovered by operatives of the Lagos State police command, its spokesman, Bala Elkana, disclosed yesterday.

A syndicate allegedly engaged in selling children has been uncovered by operatives of the Lagos State police command, its spokesman, Bala Elkana, disclosed yesterday.

He said a traffic policewoman attached to Ejigbo Division on August 26 while controlling traffic at Jakande Gate, Ejigbo, noticed commotion near her post and intervened.

According to him, the officer discovered that the altercation was about a lady named Gift Michael, aged 24, found with a suspected newborn baby. In her company was her ‘madam’, one Florence Nkem Douglas, aged 50, both of Ijegun area of Isheri.

Elkana said the crowd was about to mob the duo after trailing them and reasonably suspecting them of buying and selling children at their maternity clinic but were rescued and taken to the Ejigbo police station for investigation.

He noted that detectives discovered pictures of over 50 babies in the madam’s phone suspected to have been sold off already, adding that the gang usually sell children for between N500,000 to N1 million.

“Investigation revealed that the said Florence Douglas, a native of Igueben in Edo State, who is not a registered nurse, operates two maternity clinics, Flofidel Clinic and Maternity Homes with branches in Shosanya Street, I82, Ijegun Road and Okunola Ijagemo area.

“On interrogation, the said Florence admitted to having been in the business of selling babies for a while. She revealed that a baby girl is referred to as ‘Pink’ while a baby boy is called ‘Blue’ and are both referred to as ‘Market’.

She further confessed that the male child found in their custody at Jakande Gate Ejigbo, suspected to be a week old was brought to her from Gombe, en route Akure and was to be sold for N500,000.

“The rescued baby who appeared sick with symptoms suspected to be jaundice was promptly taken to the hospital for medical attention. The Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, has ordered the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti Yaba to take over the investigation and ensure that other members of the syndicate are apprehended,” he said.

Also, a 39-year-old woman, Mercy Momoh, has been arrested by operatives of Ekiti State police command for allegedly stealing a two-month-old baby in Ado-Ekiti. Momoh, who hailed from Edo, was arrested on Saturday at her residence located at Odo-Aremu area, along with old governor’s office in the state capital.

The baby was stolen from his mother, Mrs. Funmilayo Sunday, on Friday at about 1:00 p.m. at the state secretariat. It was gathered that the suspect tricked the baby’s mother, Funmilayo, to follow her to the secretariat under the guise of helping her to collect some relief materials being given by the government to flood victims.

The suspect, on getting there, sent the baby’s mother to help her procure recharge card but ran away with the baby before the arrival of the woman.

The command’s spokesperson, Caleb Ikechukwu, who confirmed the arrest to journalists in Ado-Ekiti, said the investigation is still ongoing. He said: “I cam confirm it that the woman who stole two-month-old baby has been arrested by the police. Investigation is still ongoing. We will reveal what really transpired.

“We call on members of the public to be careful when dealing with strangers. The suspect was apparently nice to the victim, which was why she got the baby easily. Citizens should not be carried away by kind strangers,” Ikechukwu said.

A police source newsmen that detectives immediately swung into action, and on a tip-off, tracked the suspect to her residence, where she was arrested at about 11:00 p.m. on Saturday.

According to the source, the suspect confessed that she stole the baby because of her dire need of a male child. “She claimed that due to her inability to bear a male child, her husband got married to another woman and may likely throw her out of the house”, he said.