A 25-year-old sales girl, Ogechi Njoku, ahas been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command, alongside two of her accomplices, for allegedly stealing a week-old baby from Imo State and selling him for N1 million to a couple in Cele, Mile 2 area of Lagos State.
Njoku was nabbed by policemen from Makinde division at about 2am on Wednesday while taking the baby to the couple.
On the course of investigation, the 25-year-old was said to have led the State Intelligence Bureau, to arrest her two accomplices, Patience Nwaogbo and Ngozi Izuora.
Njoku, a sales girl in Omuwa Town in Imo State, was said to have been sent to Lagos with the baby.
It was learnt that the commercial driver became suspicious when Njoku could not breastfeed the baby but instead gave him baby food when he started crying.
On getting to Oshodi Oke area of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, the driver alerted the police on patrol and Njoku was interrogated and subsequently apprehended.
According to the police, Njoku, Nwaogbo and Izuora have confessed to the crime while their collaborator, said to be Njoku’s aunt, is at large.
Disclosing their plan, Njoku, who claimed to be a mother of four said the arrangement was for her to handover the baby to the couple in the Cele area of the state, adding that the toddler started crying when they got to Lagos.
Njoku said, “I have not been to Lagos before. I work as an apprentice in a shop in Onitsha, Anambra State. It was my aunt, Madam Ngozi, who asked me to bring the baby to the couple after they had made payment to her.
“My aunt collected the baby from a lady in Imo who wanted to dispose of him. I do not know how much she gave the mother of the baby. I started off this journey at about 11am on Tuesday. I took a private car and my aunt paid the fare.
“She had collected the N1m, but she had yet to give me any share as at the time I travelled. While in the car, I could not breastfeed the baby. I was giving him only baby food.
“When we got to Lagos, the baby started crying and I gave him more formula. I had not met the buyers before. I was only given their phone number and I was to meet them in the Cele area. The wife of the man is barren, and she wanted to adopt the baby. The police have arrested the couple too, but they were released on bail.”
Njoku, who noted that she did not mean any harm to the baby, said her children were with a guardian in Imo.
“The driver suspected that I was not the baby’s mother and reported me to policemen on patrol. I have four children too in Imo. They are with a guardian. But I am not living with my husband. We had a quarrel,” she added.
Confirming the incident, the State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the police were on the trail of other members of the syndicate in Imo State.
“We have always enjoined members of the public to report suspicious persons or movements to the police. This time we were alerted by a commercial driver that the suspect was not the mother of the baby.
“Upon arrest and interrogation, she confessed that her aunty, a co-suspect, had given her the baby to sell. We have the baby now in police protection under the Family Support Unit, and investigation is ongoing to apprehend other members of the syndicate in Imo State,” Owoseni said.