The Nigeria Police Force has arrested three suspects in possession of two new born babies at the Idi-Iroko border post in Ogun State.
The suspects are: Emmanuel Elesuwa, 44; Chioma David, 33; and Chief Lilian Achumba, owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State.
CSP Aremu Adeniran, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Thirty-five pregnant girls/women, six children and one new born baby were rescued at the Nma Charity and Rehabilitation Centre Umunkpeyi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, belonging to Achumba.
The Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force in compliance with the directives and their expanded mandate have been working in good synergy with relevant agencies of Government in the fight against the trafficking of persons and abuse of rights and privileges of women and children.
Adeniran said the suspects were arrested on October 20 in conjunction with the personnel of the force and the Nigerian Immigration Service while on patrol in the area.
He said the case has been handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the force for discrete investigation.
The spokesman said investigation by the police had revealed that the suspects were notorious for the business of buying and selling babies and children within and outside the country.
He said the suspects have admitted and confessed to the police investigation team.
He said: “They further confessed that the two new born babies found in their possession were bought by them at N350,000 from Nma Charity Home in Aba, now in Police custody.
“They also revealed that they were on their way to Benin Republic to sell the two new born babies to their cohorts and criminal business partners/syndicate for Seven Hundred N700,000 each.”
He said that during interrogation, it was established that the charity home, which has branches in Port Harcourt and other parts of the country, was established to harvest babies for sale.
Adeniran said 35 pregnant girls, women and six children and one new born baby, six children were rescued at Nma Charity and Rehabilitation Centre Umunkpeyi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.
He said 28 pregnant girls and women and three children of the victims rescued have been officially handed over to the Ministry of Strategy and Social Development, Umuahia, Abia, and have been re-united with their families after receiving medical attention.
He said: “The Principal suspect Chief Lilian Nma Achumba has admitted and confessed to her criminal roles in the case.
“Investigation is being intensified to uncover other illegal orphanage branches being operated by the principal suspect, to rescue victims and arrest other members of the syndicate still at large.”
He said that the suspects would be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.
He added: “The Force also enjoins parents and guidance to pay keen attention on the care of their wards and children, especially the girl child.”