Nine pregnant girls and women were on Saturday, June 13, 2015 rescued from a baby factory at the 9th Mile area of Enugu State during a raid by officials of the state police command.
According to the state police image maker, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, the baby factory was owned and operated by a man identified as Ikechukwu Onoh of Etiti, Amakwo-Ngwo Village, in Udi Local Government Area of the state.
Onoh who operated the baby factory in his private residence was taken into police custody with the pregnant ladies.
The police operatives were said to have raided the baby factory after monitoring activities in the building for some time.
The ladies who were at different stages of pregnancy were identified as Stella James, 19, from Ohaozara, Ebonyi State; Eze Jennifer, 19, from Obukpa in Nsukka LGA, Enugu State; Ugwu Christabel, 17, a native of Aku, in Igbo-Etiti LGA, Enugu State; Happiness Mbaonu, 17, from Nnewi, Anambra State; and Ovunna Ifeoma, 20, from Ezza, in Ebonyi State; Esther Nwankwo, 21, a native of Nkalagu, in Ebonyi State; Onyedika Agu, 23, of Isuawa, Awgu in Enugu State; Blessing James, 23, from Ohafia, Abia State; and Chibueze Ujunwa, 24, from Aninri LGA, Enugu State.
However, Onoh claimed that he got a provisional approval in October 2007 from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in the state to admit and shelter pregnant women in his hospital, known as Tex Hospital and Maternity Home, which is located at 9th Mile, Punch reports.
He added that he resorted to keeping the pregnant girls in his private residence after the hospital in question was closed down.
Onoh admitted that he only notified the authorities through phone calls instead of in a written format even though he was supposed to formally inform the ministry within 24 hours of admitting any pregnant woman.
He failed to produce any reference letter through which any of the girls was referred to his home.
On the contrary, some of the girls revealed to the police that Onoh took care of them based on the arrangement that he would take the babies when they are delivered.
One of them identified as Ugwu Christabel, claimed she fell pregnant after she was raped, adding that her aunt directed her to Onoh’s residence.
Ugwu further explained that her parents wanted to marry her off to an old man after the experience.
According to her, they usually gave Onoh a list of items they needed, and the man alwayd bought such items for them.
Also speaking was another victim, Happiness Mbaonu, who was also referred to Onoh’s house by an unidentified person, claimed that a stranger impregnated her in his house when she was stranded at Holy Ghost Park in Enugu.
The police public relations officer said an ongoing investigation has been intensified by the State Criminal and Intelligence Department of the command.