Women group issues 14-day ultimatum to IGP to produce missing baby Joseph
A coalition of women groups led by Women’s Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) has given the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, a 14-day ultimatum to find one Baby Joseph, who they claimed is in custody of a police officer, Samuel Ukpabio.
Inspector Ukpabio, attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba, in Lagos allegedly took the child away from his mother, Fortunate Obafuoso, while claiming to be acting on a directive from a government ministry.
WARDC Founding Director, Dr. Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi , gave the ultimatum on behalf of the women, while addressing newsmen in Lagos, in commemoration of 2023 International Women’s Day, with the theme: “DigitALL: Innovation & Technology for Gender Equality.”
The ultimatum is with effect from Wednesday, March 8 and expected to last till March 22, 2023, else the women will march on Lagos streets to attract national attention to their grievances.
The women, who gathered in Lagos to discuss the issues affecting women and how to mitigate their problems, also urged the government to address the issue of sexual and gender-based violence among other challenges.
They expressed displeasure over the silence on transfer of the case against Mr. Samuel Ukpabio for unlawful abduction and human trafficking of a-day old baby of Mrs. Fortunate Obhafuoso to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Speaking further, Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi, said: “Today is International Women’s Day and we are looking at how digitalisation can be used to promote gender equality.”
She said the women are converging to look at the issues the government can use digitalisation to address.
Dr. Akinyode-Afolabi, on behalf of the mother of the ‘missing’ baby, alleged thepoliceman’s involvement in abduction of her baby, which she claimed she gave to the police officer under duress.
She accused the Police officer, Samuel Ukpabio, of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), of seizing the woman’s six-hour old baby from his mother, Fortune on the same day the baby was born, on the premise that she was arrested over human trafficking violation.
According to her, “We cannot celebrate International Women’s Day when a woman has experienced such a grievous violation without forthcoming justice.”
WARDC said a petition addressed to the Police is yet to be responded to.
She said : “On February 6, 2023, a petition addressed to the Inspector General of Police to transfer the case against Mr. Samuel Ukpabio; a Police officer at the Child Trafficking Department, Panti C.I.D of the Nigeria Police Force, Yaba, Lagos, for Abduction and Human Trafficking of a day-old baby of Mrs. Fortunate Obhafuoso, to an unknown person and destination.
“Concerned about these circumstances, 141 human and women’s rights organisations led by WARDC petitioned the Inspector General of Police to transfer the case to National Agency For The Prohibition of Trafficking In Person (NAPTIP), for prompt prosecution and rescue of the baby.”