Suspected Child Traffickers Nabbed in Isu Onicha

By Oginyi Nkechinyere

A vigilante group, the Neighborhood Watch has arrested 2 persons, Okpara Nkiruka, an indigene of Imo state and Sunday Chukwuma, who hails from Isu in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State over conspiracy of child trafficking.

The suspects were arrested in Ndiagu Ezenmayi village in isu Onicha.

The syndicate is made up of a husband and his wife who parade themselves as helping young single mothers get a better life outside the state.

It was gathered that they recently stormed the local government in search of toddlers to steal before luck ran out on them.

Their first target was little Promise Njoku, who is 1 year and 3 months old, but luck ran out on them when the youths of the community apprehended them before they accomplished their plan.

Mother of the victim, Ms. Chioma Njoku said that the woman first approached her where she went to fetch water at Nwigbo in Agbebor Isu, and told her to come to her place after fetching water that she wanted to discuss something with her.

Chioma who is from Agbabor Isu, said she went to meet the lady after fetching water, “And on getting there, she told me she is a nurse and wanted to help me by taking me to Port Harcourt where I would learn how to sell drugs.

Chioma said, “I told her that I don’t want to learn any trade, but I want to go to school. She said that is good, she will train me in nursing school for three years if I accept to give my baby to motherless babies home and they will give me money which I would use to take care of myself”.

“I told her I wouldn’t do such thing. She asked whether I’m pregnant and I said no, she checked me and said even if I’m pregnant she would give me drugs that will flush it out.”

“After that day, I went back home, the next day her husband came and said his wife was calling me and I went, the woman still asked me again if I have changed my mind, but I told her no.”

“This happened last week, on Monday, her husband came on a commercial motorcycle to our compound and told me to go and prepare so that we will leave for Port Harcourt, and I told him I don’t want to go, then the man called the wife on phone and gave me the phone and again, I told her I’m not going with them.

“The motorcyclist went back and brought the lady to our house. She told me to get prepared while she dresses up my baby. My sisters were telling me not to go with her but I later took my bath and she told me not to come along with my baby’s clothes that she will buy it on our way.

“So we left, on getting to Eke market, one of my sisters ran to us and told me that my uncle was calling me, I told her to tell my uncle that I’m not coming, but shortly after, I told the aunty that I want to go and answer my uncle but she said I shouldn’t go anywhere, but I insisted.”

“She told her husband to follow me, but on the way, he said he would no longer go with me, one of my brothers now came out and asked the man what he wants, he said he should know him because he is from the village and wouldn’t do anything bad. That was how I went home”, she narrated.

Mr. Sunday Ozoemena, uncle to Chioma, said that on Tuesday morning, someone came to his place and narrated what happened between his sister and the syndicate.

“I now asked them where they are living, they said Ndiagu Ezenmahi. I went to the place and on getting there, I saw the woman. I told her I was looking for someone named Chukwu, that is the husband, she said he wasn’t at home. I asked her why they came to pick my sister without our consent, she couldn’t say anything. I asked her three more questions, she didn’t say anything meaningful. So I called the youths on phone to come and assist us, that was how they were brought to the council”, he added

On interrogation by the community who came to see things for themselves, the accused woman simply identified as Mrs. Chukwu, denied ever attempting to steal Chioma’s baby.

She said she is from Imo state while her husband is from Akwa Ibom. Asked what they were doing in Ebonyi state, she couldn’t explain.

Chairman of Onicha Local Government, Engr. Igboke Felix Ogbonnaya, confirmed the report.

Igboke said that the suspects have been handed over to the police for onward investigation and prosecution.

When contacted, Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, Loveth Odah said that the incident was yet to be officially reported at the police command headquarters.

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