The Lagos State Police Command in Sunday swooped on a baby factory in Lagos and rescued 19 pregnant women aged between 15 and 28 years.
Spokesman for the command, Mr. Bala Elkana said in a statement that the pregnant women were shopped from the southeast and south-south states.
He said the police acted on an intelligence report and stormed the factory located at 14 Adisa Street, Ayanwale area of Ikotun.
Elkana said two suspects had been arrested while the principal suspect, identified as Madam Oluchi, who comes from Mbano in Imo State, was said to have escaped.
Elkana said investigation revealed that the pregnant ladies were lured with promises of employment from their respective states to Lagos where they would be impregnated.
It was gathered that the ladies movements were restricted and that whenever any of them got pregnant, the suspects who posed as nurses, would monitor them until delivery.
Upon delivery, the babies would be taken to three different homes, from where they would be sold to ready buyers, especially women who are in desperate need of children.
It was also gathered that the sex of the babies determined the price.
While the male children were sold for N500, 000, the girls went for N300, 000.
Elkana said the police were able to trace four babies to different locations in Ikotun.
“On September 19, 2019, at 4pm, while acting on the strength of information from a reliable source, detectives from the Isheri Osun Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Chike Ibe, stormed a building at 14 Adisa Street, Ayanwale area, Ikotun, Lagos, suspected to be used for child trafficking.
“Nineteen pregnant girls, aged 15 and 28, were rescued. Four kids were also rescued. They were recovered from four different locations.
“They include: 32 Owosho Street, Governor Road, Ikotun; 29 Olugbeyohun Street, Olakunle Bus Stop Abaranja; 4/6 Anomo Street, Abaranja and the address mentioned above. The pregnant women were brought from Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and Imo states.
“Two suspects, namely Happiness Ukwuoma ‘f’ 40 years old, and Sherifat Ipeya ‘f’ 54 years old, were arrested in connection with the case.
“The suspects did not receive formal medical training but operate as nurses. The suspects are natives of Imo and Epe, Lagos states, respectively. The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers.
“The girls were tricked with employment as domestic staff in Lagos.
“The commissioner of police, Lagos State, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, has visited the scene and ordered the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department to take over the case.”
Elkana said the command was working with other agencies and stakeholders in rehabilitating and resettling the pregnant girls and the babies.
He said investigation was ongoing and the suspects would be charged to court.
Reacting to the development, the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu vowed that justice would be served on those found guilty in the case of the baby factory.
Speaking though the commissioner of information, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, the governor said the government would fish out illegal operators of the baby factory adding that it would not condone such acts in the state.
“There are rules guiding the setting up of such maternity homes. Of course, the state government is not in support of any illegality. Unregistered homes will not be given any chance to operate and when they are caught they will be taken to court and will never be covered.”
He urged Lagos residents not to relent in providing useful information to relevant authorities for appropriate actions.
With Vanguard, Punch reports