– Babies sell for N500,000
Baby selling business is on the rise in Nigeria. Despite the long arm of the law catching up with them regularly, the illegal trade seems to be more popular because of the money operators make from selling babies to the highest bidders.
In the last three weeks, about four hideouts of these syndicates have been uncovered and relevant people involved were picked up. The recent one that attracted sharp condemnation from the public is the bursting of a baby factory by the Nigeria Immigrations Service on Thursday, January 30, 2014, in Ilu Tuntun, Okitipupa, Ondo State. About 19 men and women, who were allegedly cohabiting and producing children for the owner of the factory, were arrested. In total, they were 11 men and 11 women and the owner of the place. Five of the women were carrying babies while another five were found pregnant.
However, those arrested insisted they were all members of a family before they were handed over to the police.
Before this incident, makeshift stalls were reportedly pulled down recently at Oba Junction along Onitsha-Owerri Expressway. The structures were destroyed by angry youths of the town. Those stalls, according to investigation, operated under the cover of restaurants and joints whereas another business goes on inside. Women of easy virtues and their customers establish contacts here for the satisfaction of their sexual desires at an agreed price. Aside this, there was an apartment inside where babies were born and sold. Another place was uncovered by the Nigeria Police Force at Umunkpeyi Nvosi in Abia state. The place was said to be operated by a nurse. A 5 storey hospital building on Okigwe road Aba was brought down recently by the state government over allegations that it was being used to harbour pregnant teenagers whose babies were adopted illegally. The place operated under the guise of providing shelter and care for victims of unwanted pregnancies and their rehabilitation.
Another hideout was uncovered by the police near Central School, Umuezelanwoke Village in Imo State. It is a one storey building owned by a Nigerian resident in the U.S. The tenants converted the property to a baby factory. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in persons and other Related Matters, NAPTIP was also very much active in bursting homes where this illegal trade take place. In 2012, the agency raided one that specialises in abduction and sale of babies in Abuja. According to the spokesman of NAPTIP Orakwe Arinze, the owner of the place lure young girls by promising them marriage and later dispossess them of their babies and sell. He said there are many cases of baby factories being handed to the Nigeria Police by NAPTIP and urged parents to be cautious and concerned about the whereabouts of their children.
HOW BABY FACTORY OPERATES
Revelations by the Nigeria Police Force indicated that most places where the trade occur masquerade as non-governmental organisations, social homes or centers. Owners of these places present themselves as good Nigerians who take care of the teenage pregnant girls in need. Most young girls also see this as an avenue of making money. They go to these homes where they would be impregnated by men hired for that purpose and after delivery they would be paid off while the owner of those places sell the babies. Some girls get as little as N100,000, while the baby is sold for N500,000 or more in some cases babies are sold at N200,000 and N400,000. In some places, however, the young girls are camped until they deliver after which they paid off.