The Lagos State Police Command has busted a baby factory detention camp in the Ikotun area of the state and rescued nineteen pregnant girls between the ages of 15 and 28.
According to the police, these young girls come from different states like Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and Imo.
“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 police disclosed.
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Police Public Relations Officer DSP Bala Elkana, in a statement, said the police acted on information from a reliable source which led them to a building at No.14 Adisa Street Ayanwale, Ikotun Lagos, suspected to be used for child trafficking.
“Nineteen pregnant girls ages 15 and 28 were rescued. Four kids were also rescued.”
They were recovered from four different locations, including No.32 Owosho Street, Governor Road, Ikotun; No 29 Olugbeyohun Street, Olakunle Bus Stop Abaranja and No 4/6 Anomo Street, Abaranja.
“The babies are sold between 300,000 naira [$827] and 500,000 [$1,300], depending on their sex”, the police spokesman explained.
Two suspects, Happiness Ukwuoma and Sherifat Ipeya, were arrested in connection with the case while the police are on a manhunt for
The police PRO noted that even though the suspects lacked formal medical training, they operated as nurses.
“The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers.”
“The command was working with other agencies and stakeholders in rehabilitating and resettling the pregnant girls and the babies. Investigation was ongoing and the suspects would be charged to court,” Elkana said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos state government has vowed that the law will deal with the baby factory operators and justice will be served.
“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,” the commissioner for information and strategy, Gbenga Omotoso said.
This isn’t the first time a baby factory has been recorded in the history of the state. In 2018, a similar raid by the police was reported in local news where over 160 children were rescued from a “baby factory” and two unregistered orphanages.
“In 2013, 17 pregnant teenagers and 11 babies were rescued from a house in south-eastern Imo state. The girls said they had been raped by one man.”
“In 2012, a UK judge raised concerns about “desperate childless parents” being caught up in baby-selling scams in Nigeria,” according to the BBC.