The Edo State Police Command on Wednesday, paraded seven women for alleged theft and sale of two children.
It was gathered that the children, aged two and four, were stolen in Utese Community by one Mary Paul in June, 2018.
Mary reportedly sold them to one Rita Eze in Delta State who in turn sold the four-year-old child to Comfort Dike John who runs an orphanage in Okigwe in Imo State.
The suspects are Comfort Dike John, Glory Onuoha (38), Adendu Ifeoma (40), Evangeline Akubor (38), Chinyere Okeke (39), one Ogechi (38) and Anioke Augustina (48).
Parading the suspects, spokesperson for the command, Chidi Nwanbuzor, said Mary Paul was a co-tenant of the mother of the children, and that the mother had entrusted the children in her care while going to the river.
Paul absconded with the children and sold them to Eze from Delta State at N450,000 and N300,000.
Rita in turn sold the children to two women in Delta and Imo states for N500,000 and N400,000, adding that the buyer in Imo State, Comfort Dike John, ran an orphanage.
“Comfort later sold the four-year old to Mrs. Augustina Anioke at N850,000, who adopted her without due process. Rita Eze, Joy Ode and Uju Favour are already in court and are remanded in Benin prison while Mary Paul who stole the kid is in prison in Ondo State. Sadly, the police is yet to recover the two-year-old girl because the person she was sold to is dead, but we are living no stone unturned in ensuring that she is recovered,” he assured.
He added that the command also arrested Kenneth Ofoke and Mercy Nwogha who are specialists in child stealing.
He said the suspects confessed that since they started the business, they had sold four children.
Chidi said the police recovered the children and reunited them with their parents while the suspects and their collaborators had been charged to court.
In an interview with journalists, Anioke, who had been married for 18 years with two kids, said she decided to adopt a child because her kids were all in school and she needed a baby to play with at home.
“I agreed to adopt the baby when I saw ‘government approved’ written on the sign board of the orphanage,” she added.
On her part, Comfort Dike said she bought the baby when the woman who brought her said the baby’s father was in the mortuary and that she would not be able to take care of her.