Nigeria: Man and girlfriend arrested by Edo task force for selling a one-month-old baby

Nigeria: Man and girlfriend arrested by Edo task force for selling a one-month-old baby

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

suspects arrested by the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking in connection with the sale of a baby who was just one month old. Photo credit: Anthony Igbinogun, 48, and Joy Umukoro, 28, were apprehended by the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking for allegedly selling their one-month-old child to fund their drug addiction.

In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the suspects and their friend, 26-year-old Precious James, connected them to the buyer of the baby and facilitated the illegal transaction.

Abigail Ihonre, Head of the Investigation Unit of the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, told journalists in Benin City that the baby was sold for N1.7 million. She also said that the investigation to rescue the baby and catch the buyer of the one-month-old child is ongoing.

Ihonre says, “Our investigations revealed that the baby’s mother, Joy Umukoro, delivered the baby in April 2023 and conspired with her boyfriend to sell their baby for N1.7 million.” She has admitted to the wrongdoing of selling the child.”

She added, “The matter will be charged to Court at the latest on Monday 26th, June 2023, so that everyone culpable is made to face the wrath of the law for their criminal activities. Investigation into the case continues as we intensify efforts to locate the buyers and the baby.”

The suspects claimed that they were unable to care for the child and committed the heinous act. These alleged drug addicts decided to sell the baby when it became clear that they couldn’t care for him. They couldn’t have chosen that, though, as it could have ended their lives.

Trafficking is punishable by approximately seven years in prison. Those who are unable to care for their children should not sell them; instead, they should bring them to the office of the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, where we work with the Ministry of Gender and Women Affairs, or they should take the child to other organizations that care for children. Selling that child is not a good idea because it could land you in jail.

Joy Umukoro, the infant’s mother, stated that they sold the infant to a willing buyer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for N700,000, noting that N500,000 was paid in cash. While others were used for drugs, the agent who brought her to the buyer received N170,000.

She claims, “After the birth of the baby, life became very difficult, and I approached my friend to help me with a buyer, and she gave me the link.” Together with another woman, I went to Port Harcourt and sold the baby for 700,000 naira. The reason is the medications I take. In addition, I paid for my father’s burial and sent money to my other two children for their upkeep.

The baby’s father, Igbinogun, commented, ” We stayed together after giving birth to the child, but the mother said she couldn’t care for it. She let me know that her companion Valuable James has found a purchaser and she ventured out to Streams State to sell the child and when she returned she gave me N100,000.”

Also, Precious James, who helped make the illegal deal happen, said that all of them were drug addicts and couldn’t care for the baby. She added, “My friend told me she sold the baby for seventy million naira and when she came back, she bought drugs for me from the money.”

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