Officials of the Abia State police command have nabbed a 71-year-old man said to be a retired pastor and his wife for allegedly stealing a year-old baby in the state.
The duo were arrested after the baby’s mother raised an alarm.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Joshak Habila disclosed that a month ago, a 21-year-old pregnant mother reported that she lost her 11 months old baby to a supposed friend under the pretence of offering help to her.
Habila added that the action of the supposed friend was busted when the anti-robbery squad of the command intercepted him at Owerrinta and arrested him for allegedly trafficking pregnant girls to Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
According to him, the arrest of the suspect stirred the discovery of a child, who was previously stolen in Aba and allegedly sold to the retired pastors’ wife, who was said to have kept the deal away from her husband.
The suspect sold the baby for N500,000 to the wife of a pastor who allegedly lied to her husband that she went through the normal process of adoption for the baby.
Further into the disclosure, the police boss explained that the wife of the pastor admitted to have paid for the baby in the premises of Federal Medical Centre, FMC, in Umuahia, through her friend, who she identified as Maria Mba, a senior civil servant in Bende Local Government Area.
However, the pastor denied being aware of the illegal adoption of the baby, stressing that he had demanded the adoption documents from his wife who never provided it.
The other suspects, Maria Mba and Ekwutosi, also explained their role in the transaction, with Ekwutosi saying he connected Maria to the illegal deal.
He claimed that Mba approached him and requested for baby girl which he arranged for and procured, after which he invited them to the FMC where the deal was finally sealed.
Meanwhile, Ekwutosi denied receiving any money from Mba who claimed she gave him N400,000 and kept N100,000.