Police in Lagos have arrested a man, Mr. Adeola Adebayo, 50, and his 40-year-old wife, Binta, for allegedly harbouring pregnant women and selling their babies without their consent.
The state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who paraded the suspects yesterday, said they were running a baby factory at Igando area.
The commissioner added that they were arrested based on information. He said: “Following information given by members of the press on the operation of a baby factory at No. 1, Treasure Palace Road, Ikotun/Igando, the police swung into action and arrested the couple.
Three pregnant victims were also rescued. The couple harboured young pregnant girls till they give birth and later take their babies away.
The information we got is that they sell the babies without the consent of the mothers.” One of the victims, Favor Osikweme (19), who is six months pregnant, said that she was introduced to the baby factory by her friend known as Lepa. She said: “I was not told that it is a baby factory. I was staying with my friend called Lepa when she told me that her place is too small.
She promised to take to a place where I would deliver my baby. I have been there since December 2017. The woman told my mother that I was working with her, but we didn’t negotiate about payment for my child.”
Osikweme said that she was not aware of the suspects, selling of any child. Another victim, Precious Emmanuel (27), said that she was worried after getting pregnant for a foreigner but was later introduced to the baby factory by her sister.
She said: “I was taken to the woman by my sister after getting pregnant for a foreigner. The woman then promised to settle me as soon as I deliver my baby.” Another victim, Onome Oputi (25), is nine months pregnant.
The couple, however, denied the allegation, stressing that they were only assisting the pregnant ladies. These ladies in turn were expected to help them with their business. While denying the allegation of running a baby factory, Binta said that one of the pregnant ladies was her son’s wife.
According to her, the son’s wife has two children who are six and two years old. She said: “If I’m operating a baby factory, why haven’t I sold my son’s two children? The other lady is working in my restaurant; she’s my friend’s daughter.
She is pregnant, but doesn’t live with us. She comes around to help in the place. We give her food and money because of her condition. Again, none of the ladies police brought here has delivered any baby. I have never sold any baby. Two of the three women only help me with my business. I sell wholesale drinks and they assist me. I believe some neighbours are trying to frame my husband and I.”
Edgal said that the victims would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition in Persons (NAPTIP) for care.