A female cleric with an undisclosed Pentecostal church in Abia State, Prophetess Mrs. Ezelu (other name withheld),, is currently telling police detectives what she knows about the sale of a two-year-old boy that was recently rescued in Ondo State.
The female minister was among the three women and a man that were arrested and paraded by the Abia State Police Command for alleged conspiracy, kidnap and sale of a two-year-old baby boy, Master Prosper Light, from Abia State.
The little boy was sold for N600,000 (six hundred thousand naira) but was rescued at Ore, Ondo State, while being transported to Lagos. The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor, recently paraded the suspects at the State Police Headquarters, along Bende Road, Umuahia. The police boss said a popular photographer in Aba lured the little boy after promising to buy him a balloon.
The boy took the bait and was allegedly abducted by the photographer, who quickly handed him over to his customer, a female restaurant operator. Also paraded by the police boss for the alleged crime were 38-year-old Mrs. Chinaza (other name withheld), a staffer of Bende Local Government Area of Abia State said to be the buyer of the baby; 45-year-old Mrs. Anele (other name withheld), the restaurant operator, who contracted an Aba-based photographer, Nwaogu (other name also withheld), popularly called Ejima, for the kidnap. Nwaogu was also paraded.
According to the Police, Chinaza was intercepted at Ore in Ondo State while travelling to Lagos with Baby Prosper. Chinaza reportedly told the police that she was taking the child to one Ann, a friend of hers based in Lagos, who she said was in dire need of a child. Mr. Aisabor who paraded the suspects said he would ensure that people like the suspects were exposed and brought to book, according to the law of the land. “My advice to those who did not give birth and want to have babies is that they should rely on God because there is no situation that God cannot change.
They should not go into crime as a result of the condition they find themselves in. The law will take its course. We will follow due process and the four suspects will be charged to court. If the court releases them, I cannot question the decision of the court. Ours is to do our duty according to the law,” Aisabor said. All the suspects who spoke to Daily Sun gave various versions of their roles in the sale of Baby Prosper.
The prophetess, Mrs. Ezelu, who hails from Ngor Okpuala in Imo State, and was married to a man from Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, said that the only role she played in the saga was introducing the buyer to the seller. Prophetess Ezelu said she lost her husband four months back and because she did not have a child for him, her friend, Mrs. Comfort Anele advised her to adopt a baby.
“I told her that I cannot afford that now and, so, when my friend Chinaza enquired about adoption, I introduced her to Anele.” Nwaogu, the 29-year-old photographer accused of luring the little Prosper with a promise to buy a balloon for him, said he was approached by Mrs. Anele to look for a child for her. “I am not happy with what is happening to me now.
I was in my shop when Mrs. Anele called me to come to her restaurant and I went and she told me that she had some people, who needed children and that I should go and bring some. I had never done it before. I saw the baby when they were playing and they rushed to me, saying that I should buy a balloon for them. I called the baby and told him that I would give him money to buy a balloon. He followed me. It was from there that I captured him and took him to the woman’s restaurant.
The Holy Spirit knows that I have never done this kind of a thing before,” Nwaogu swore. Anele, who runs a restaurant in Aba, admitted that Nwaogu is her customer. “I asked him if he knows how to do adoption and he said yes. He told me that there was one on board and that it was what he did for people. I agreed to pay him N300,000 if he was able to get a baby for adoption because I wanted to adopt the baby for my friend.
But I have not paid him because he has not brought the papers for the adoption; he only brought the child.” Also speaking, Chinaza, who paid the sum of N600, 000 to Anele for the baby, said her money had been with Anele since September and that when they brought the baby to her, she told them that he did not fall within the age bracket she was asking for. She said she wanted to adopt a child for herself since she did not have a child and her husband was late.
“I wanted to adopt a baby that was a year old or less because she (Anele) told me that she was attached to an orphanage. When they brought this one, I knew that he is not within the age bracket I wanted and because my money had been lingering with her since September, I decided to take the child to a friend of mine in Lagos called Ann, who had been in need of a child so as to recover my money.
I had gotten to Ore when they phoned me that the baby I was given was a stolen child and not an adopted one and I came down from the vehicle and started coming back to the East. I came back with the child. I was not arrested by any police at Ore.
They told me that they had gotten the age bracket that I wanted. Ezelu is my friend and when I told her that I wanted to adopt a child, she introduced me to Anele,” Chinaza said. The incident happened in Aba where the parents of the baby reside. Speaking to Daily Sun, mother of the child, Mrs Salome Light, said her baby was playing with other children in front of her house.
She said when the other children came back, she asked for her child but the other children said they were not aware of his whereabouts. According to her, it was at that point that she raised the alarm and they started looking for him.
“For the two days that my child was in their custody, I could not sleep. I was restless. I am very grateful to the Nigerian Police, who swung into action and rescued my child from the hands of his abductors. I always pray for those, who don’t have children and desire to have that God should remember them.” The baby’s father, Mr. Light Obiakwa, 34, who hails from Ukwa East Local Government Area of Abia State, expressed happiness with his son’s rescue. He thanked God and the police for making the rescue of their son possible. “This is like a dream, which we have woken up from and I don’t even know what to say now,” Light said.