Pregnant girls, 13-year-old flee another baby factory
Barely two weeks after 19 girls were rescued from a baby factory in Ikotun area of Lagos State and a week-old baby was recovered from an illegal trade syndicate in Isheri-Osun, another set of pregnant girls have been found by policemen attached to the Isolo Police Division.
The seven victims had reportedly escaped from another baby factory in the Isolo area of the state and were fleeing when the attention of the police was called to them. It was gathered that the girls, aged between 13 and 27, had fled from where they were camped after they discovered that their babies would be sold.
Stranded and lost, they loitered around Cele bus stop on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway at about 1:00a.m. They were all found at the bus stop begging for help from passers-by at such ungodly hour yesterday before the Isolo Divisional Police Officer led a team to the bus stop and took them into custody, including a two-year-old girl, who was with the pregnant girls.
The escapees told the police that they were lured to Lagos by a woman whom they all knew as ‘Happiness’, and who had promised to help them secure a job in the state. Only later did the pregnant girls learn to their horror that they were camped in the compound to produce babies for sale. According to them, they decided to escape once they realised Happiness’ bad intentions.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, who confirmed the development, said the seven girls claimed they were tricked to Lagos. “They said they were about 20 in the facility and they were brought in from different places, including Imo, Abia and Rivers states. Five of them came from Imo State.
“They were all brought under different guises, mostly employment. Some of them were promised help. The 13-year-old among them said she was raped in her village and she became pregnant. When she was confused on how to handle the situation, somebody offered to help her and that was how she was brought to Lagos, not knowing that she was deceived.
“When they all discovered that it was a baby factory and their babies would be sold, they wanted to go, but the madam held them hostage. However on their own, they plotted their escape and eventually fled last night,” he added.
Elkana appealed to Lagos residents to be on the lookout for the 13 other pregnant girls, saying they could be stranded and might be captured again by the owner of the baby factory.
The state command had on September 19 rescued 19 pregnant girls from four different locations in the state. Two suspects were arrested as the principal suspect, identified as Madam Oluchi, escaped.
The police spokesman noted that since the style and mode of operation of the new case were similar to the earlier one, there could be a link between them, adding that the suspects in custody would be interrogated to see if there was any link between them.