CITIZENS COMPASS —The Gombe State Police Command has launched investigations into the alleged sale of a one-year-old baby for the sum of N400,000.
Some suspects including Tina Raphael, a 60-year-old woman from Anambra State, and some officials of Gombe Local Government Area, have been arrested in connection with the matter.
In an interview with journalists, Raphael claimed that she adopted the baby from a suspected trafficker named Khadijah.
She said she paid the desired fee for the baby, citing her wish to have a girl child.
Denying any allegations in the purchase of the child, she emphasised that she only paid for the baby’s legal documentation.
Relatedly, another resident of Gombe, Ukamaka Ugo, asserted her innocence, stating that she paid N50,000 to Khadijah for baby items and medical expenses.
Ugo further said that the payment was to legally adopt a child whose parents allegedly lack the resources for their baby’s well-being.
Meanwhile, Khadijah, despite the arrests, vehemently denied involvement in child theft or trafficking.
She noted that her role was to connect individuals with social welfare workers claiming that the children involved had vulnerable parents who couldn’t adequately care for them.
The Gombe State Police Command revealed that Khadijah collaborated with 15 others, including the local government officials, on the alleged sale of babies.
According to the Police spokesman, Mahid Abubakar, investigations confirmed the sale of two babies to Ugo, with funds transferred through intermediaries.
Abubakar, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, however, assured that the police are working to recover the adopted children currently in Lagos and Anambra States.
The National Human Rights Commission warns that child adoption without due legal processes constitutes human trafficking.
The commission emphasised the importance of following proper procedures and court processes in adoption cases.
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons is investigating the issue thoroughly before providing the media with adequate information.