In Anambra State, Nigeria’s south-east, a woman allegedly sold her three-month-old grandchild for N50,000.

Oluchukwu Nwosu, the defendant, is accused of selling the newborn without alerting her daughter, Ijeoma, who gave birth to the child out of wedlock.

Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, a media aide to the state’s Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, revealed this in a statement issued on Sunday.

Ms Ikeanyionwu said the child has now been rescued by the commissioner, who also facilitated the arrest of the suspect by the police in the state.

The media aide said the rescue was in response to a report from Ijeoma, the child’s mother, that the suspect “forcefully” sold the child and refused to speak to her about his whereabouts.

“After almost a month of consistent intelligence surveillance by the State Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, the offenders (seller and buyer) were caught,” Ms Ikeanyionwu said.

The suspect, Mrs Nwosu, speaking after her arrest, claimed that she was forced to sell the baby due to their low income and inability to care for the baby, according to the statement.

The grandmother said this was the third time her daughter had given birth to a child outside wedlock, pointing out that two other children- also males- were being cared for at an orphanage home in Awka.

She said that they struggled to feed from the time her daughter gave birth to the child.

She claimed that a man, identified as Tochukwu Asiegbu, approached her and agreed to buy the child at the cost.

‘Buying and selling’

On his part, Mr Asiegbu, who reportedly resold the child, said he only made a profit of N30,000 from the business.

However, Evelyn Egwuatu, from whom the baby was retrieved, said she paid a woman, Ebelechukwu Uba, N200,000 to buy the child.

Ms Egwuatu resides in Anambra, but hails from Ebonyi, another state in the South-east.

Ms Uba, on her part, said Mr Asiegbu and Mrs Nwosu made the decision to deliver the child to Ms Egwuatu without the involvement of Ijeoma, the child’s mother.

The statement said all the “perpetrators of the act” agreed that the incident occurred about three months ago.

It added that “the perpetrators” have been handed over to the police for “additional questioning and investigation.”

Commissioner reacts

Speaking shortly after the rescue of the child, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare in the state, Mrs Obinabo, expressed disappointment that illegal adoption was still happening in the state despite the state government’s efforts against it.

The commissioner, consequently, warned that henceforth anybody found engaging in illegal adoption in the state will be prosecuted.



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