The Lagos State Police Command on Tuesday paraded Onyebuchi Jennifer, who was arrested in Anambra State for stealing a baby in Lagos State.
She said she stole the baby in the Ajegunle area of Lagos and fled to Anambra State so that her lover could pay her bride price and marry her.
The 26-year-old added that she had lied to her lover in Okija, Anambra State, that the baby was the fruit of their relationship.
It had been reported that Jennifer, who also hails from Anambra, had befriended the baby’s mother, Aina Adetola, for about two weeks, before she carried out the act on Saturday, September 26.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Jennifer, who claimed to be an orphan, said she got started living with the man in Anambra State in October 2014, adding that he refused to pay her bride price until she had a child for him.
The suspect, who said she came to Lagos in June 2015 to look for a way to get pregnant, added that she took the baby to her lover to convince him to pay her bride price.
She said, “My mother died when I was in primary five. My father had died a few years earlier. My parents had two of us; but a few years ago, my elder sister died during childbirth. So, I was left alone in Anambra State without any relation.
“I gave birth to a child in 2010, but he died after six months. Last year, I met a man who promised to marry me after I had had a child for him.
“We started living together in October 2014. I was pregnant, but after three months, I had a miscarriage. I was troubled, and started running after traditional doctors and hospitals, but to no avail. I decided to come to Lagos to work and find a way to get a baby. I came to Lagos in June 2015.
“So, I came to the Ajegunle area and I got a job as a fuel attendant. While I was working, I met the baby’s mother and we became friends.
“On that Saturday, I went to her shop, which was near the filling station. I said I was going to the Boundary area to buy an item and I would carry her baby with me. She did not object. So, I took the baby from her, and boarded a bus to Anambra State to meet my lover.”
Jennifer added that she bought baby foods to keep the boy healthy after lying to her lover that the baby was theirs.
She said, “I did this so that he could pay my bride price and marry me. I did not tell the baby’s mother that I was taking him to Anambra. We left on Saturday and got to my place on Sunday. I had the intention to bring the baby back after my bride price had been paid. I lied to my husband that I had been pregnant before I left and gave birth to the baby while in Lagos.
He believed me, and I took good care of the baby for four days before the police showed up in our apartment.
“My lover immediately dissociated himself from me. He had not paid the bride price before the police arrested me.”
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the boy’s father, Adeniyi Adetola, said he was glad to be reunited with his child, adding that the police did a good job for his family.
He said, “We are taking the boy to the hospital for further treatment today (Tuesday). The mother and I are happy to have our baby boy back. The baby is my second child, and I appreciate the police for doing a good job on this case. I also appreciate God.”
The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the command would not tolerate criminals in the state.
“The command is doing all it should to bring crimes to the barest minimum, and we want the general public to always avail us of information to be able to do this,” he added.