The baby was traced to the house of Erondu at Mbutu Umuogwo village in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area, where the toddler was kept awaiting collection by the buyer who had already paid the agreed amount.
Lady luck shone on him, just as his destiny was determined to overcome. This seems to be the story of a 12-month-old baby boy, Chizoba Maduabuchi, who was sold by his father for N300,000.
But fate was kind to the little boy. He was recovered from his buyer by the police in Abia State following the alarm raised by the mother of the baby, which prompted detectives to swing into action.
The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Joshak Habila, paraded the suspected child traffickers yesterday along with other arrested criminal suspects.
He said that the father of the baby, Maduabuchi George Okey, had on February 18, 2015, conspired with one Obinna Erondu and sold the baby.
But luck ran out on the conspirators when the baby’s mother Eberechi Maduabuchi raised the alarm.
The baby was then traced to the house of Erondu at Mbutu Umuogwo village in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area, where the toddler was kept awaiting collection by the buyer who had already paid the agreed amount.
Narrating the incident, the baby’s mother said her husband had taken the baby away on the pretext that he was taking him for treatment, claiming that the little boy had a cough, even though the baby’s mother insisted that there was nothing wrong with the baby.
In his own account, Maduabuchi said Erondu, whom he described as a herbalist, had talked him into selling the baby, who is his fourth child. Police said that the herbalist was still on the run.
But while baby Chizoba was lucky to have been rescued and reunited with his mother, the case of a five-month-old baby boy sold for N140,000 is yet to be resolved, as police detectives are still searching for the person who bought the baby named Chisom.
Chisom was taken from his mother, Ogechi Kalu, 19, who said that her baby was taken from her and sold by one Uchenna John, who was harbouring her and her baby, a product of a teenage pregnancy.
The teenage mother, who hails from Akaeze in Ebonyi State, said her sister staying at Orlu in Imo State had invited her to come and take a job but her prospective employer rejected her on the grounds that she was still nursing a baby.
On her way back after her fruitless journey, Ogechi said she ran out of money when she got to Okigwe and after narrating her plight to a fellow passenger, who happened to be the wife of the suspect, they eventually provided her shelter.
But by accepting assistance from the supposed Good Samaritan, Ogechi did not know that the couple harbouring her had other plans for her baby boy who was eventually disposed of like a commodity.
When he was apprehended by the police, the suspect said that he decided to sell the baby when Ogechi had said that she wanted to go back to school. He insisted that the baby was still with the buyer and would be recovered.
Also paraded were members of different gangs specialising in bank robberies and vandalising ATMs, kidnapping and stealing, as a well as a suspected murderer, one Chizaram Amandu, 40.
According to the CP, the suspect, Amandu, had on February 19, 2015 stabbed to death Sampson Uchenna Sunday, 32, at Ahiaba Okpuala in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, and was picked up after the sister of the deceased reported the incident to the police.
The CP promised that the state police command would continue to make sure that criminals are not given breathing space in Abia State, attributing the arrests made to the collective efforts of the various police divisions and formations across the state.
He said the police would continue to provide adequate security to Abia residents and “have continued to assess and improve on measures and strategies put in place by the command in order to ensure a conducive environment before, during and after the general election”.