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Babies for sale: 22 pregnant girls in maternity home

Posted by By PETRUS OBI, Enugu on 2008/06/10 | Views: 2038 |

Babies for sale: 22 pregnant girls in maternity home


A medical doctor, who runs an illegal maternity and social home where underaged pregnant girls breed babies for sale, has been arrested in Enugu. The suspect, Dr. Kenneth Akunne, was paraded with 22 pregnant girls found at the maternity home during a raid by security operatives of the illegal outfit.

• Doctor arrested

A medical doctor, who runs an illegal maternity and social home where underaged pregnant girls breed babies for sale, has been arrested in Enugu. The suspect, Dr. Kenneth Akunne, was paraded with 22 pregnant girls found at the maternity home during a raid by security operatives of the illegal outfit.

Enugu State Commandant of the Nigeria Security And Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Desmond Agu, told newsmen that his men got information about a woman who was about traveling to Lagos with a day old baby suspected not to be her child and quickly moved to stop the movement.

He disclosed that following her arrest and interrogation, the woman made confessional statements that led to the arrests.
Agu further disclosed that the woman claimed during interrogation that she bought the baby from one Dr. Kenneth Akunne, who operates a maternity cum social home at Ziks Avenue area of Enugu for the sum of N340,000.

She also claimed to have been directed to the place by someone she complained to about how she had been going about in search of another child after bearing only one girl child for her late husband.
The commandant explained that shortly after the encounter with the woman whose name was given as Mrs. Bene Aguocha, the security operatives stormed the maternity home to apprehend the proprietor, adding that there they found the 22 pregnant girls, whose ages ranged from 15 to 18.

He said investigation into the matter would commence immediately after which the girls and the proprietor would be handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions.
The commandant warned those engaged in breeding babies for sale to either desist from such business or be ready to face the full weight of the law.

Meanwhile, Dr. Akunne, while responding to reporters’ question maintained that he did not commit any offence as his maternity was duly registered as a non governmental organization (NGO) with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, as well as other appropriate agencies charged with registration of such establishments.

"I do not sell children, rather, what we do is child fostering," Akunne explained, adding that they took care of the pregnant girls until when they were delivered of their babies. According to him, the babies were then handed over to the appropriate quarters for the next action. Akunne said he engaged in running the home to discourage young ladies from abortion or dumping babies into gutters and pit toilets, hinting that he had been operating for over 30 years.

There was a mild drama in the premises of the maternity home when the NSCDC men arrived to arrest the proprietor as some armed policemen from Uwani police station stormed the place to arrest the Civil Defence men, claiming they did not get clearance from the station before embarking on the exercise.

Though, the arrested Civil Defence men have since gained their freedom, following the quick intervention of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Suleiman Fakai, who ordered the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the station to immediately release them unconditionally.

Only last week, the police in Abuja paraded an 80-year-old woman, Madam Grace Erondu, who ran an illegal hostel in Osisioma area of Aba Abia State accommodating pregnant girls whose babies are sold shortly after being delivered.
Eleven pregnant girls were found in the home when policemen raided the hostel.

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