A 22-year-old woman, Onyinyechi Osoneye, has been arrested by Rapid Response Squad (RRS) operatives for allegedly selling her day-old baby boy for N250,000.
She was arrested with five others by a decoy team.
The baby’s father and the suspect’s mother, Mrs. Joy Osoneye, who were allegedly involved in the deal, are on the run.
Osoneye was alleged to have sold the boy to a couple, Mr and Mrs Ike Nwata, through a third party, who charged them N850,000 but remitted only N250,000 to the suspect’s mother.
According to RRS, Osoneye was arrested last Wednesday, following a two-month investigation on the sale of another baby to another couple, Mr and Mrs John Chukwu of 34, Odeleye Aina Street, Okota.
Although she was said to have feigned ignorance of the deal, a post on the RRS website said she started crying when she was confronted with some facts.
She was said to have opened up during interrogation, telling detectives how her mother assisted her to conceal the pregnancy from her father, who was against her having a child out of wedlock.
According to RRS, the suspect, who claimed she sold the baby because its father denied responsibility for her pregnancy, provided other information that led to the smashing of the baby selling ring.
Detectives discovered that she was admitted to hospital at Ikota, Lekki-Ajah Expressway, on March 1, where a midwife, Mrs. Glory Ehinmi, 35, delivered her of the baby.
Ehinmi, RRS said, transferred the baby to Peculiar Hospital in Orile, said to be owned by her sister, Mrs. Prisca Okocha, 45. The deal was allegedly sealed at the hospital in the suspect’s mother’s presence.
After collecting the baby, Mrs. Okocha, RRS said, contacted another woman, Mrs. Regina Anyanwu, 59, who brought the Nwatas.
Mrs. Okocha allegedly confessed to have collected N850,000 for the baby but paid Osoneye and her mother N250,000.
After taking the baby home, the Nwatas were said to have held a party to herald his arrival. Mrs Nwata was said to have pretended to be pregnant for several months before ‘delivering’ the baby.
She was said to have stayed away from her matrimonial home and only visited her husband occasionally with her ‘pregnancy’.
During interrogation, Ehinmi insisted she did Osoneye a favour, adding that she enrolled her for antenatal and fed her till the suspect was delivered of the baby.
Lagos State Police Command’s spokesman Olarinde Famous-Cole, an Assistant Superintendent, said the child had been handed over to the Ministry of Women Affairs. The suspects, he said, had been transferred to the Police Gender Office in Ikeja.