On Thursday, the Anambra State Police Command paraded a 29-year-old woman, Chidinma Okorie, and two medical doctors for alleged child trafficking. The doctors, who were said to be Okorie’s accomplices, were identified as Emmanuel Tobechukwu and Cosmos Ugorji.
Okorie said she had sold two children since she was introduced into the illegal trade by a woman whom she claimed was an evangelist.
She said, "I sold the two children at N50,000 each. I, myself, am pregnant now and the evangelist said when I’m delivered of my baby, she would buy it for N100,000. I have five children; but I’m not married. I have not sold any of my children; but I have sold two children, starting with the child of a pastor that I first stole. I’m pregnant and I have agreed to sell my baby to the evangelist for N100,000 when I give birth."
She said the medical doctors were helping her in the trafficking because they had a ready market through a nurse that was still at large.
She said "Madam brought three of us (girls) from Ebonyi to Anambra State and took us to a shrine in Asaba where she collected our blood for voodoo so that we will not reveal to anybody the type of business we do."
She insisted that the two medical doctors aided her in the trafficking of the two children.
Ugorji, however, said he had not seen Okorie before and he had not done any transaction with her.
Ugorji, who said his hospital was located at Awada, Obosi, near Onitsha, explained that the nurse, whom Okorie named as his accomplice in child trafficking, was only coming to his hospital’s laboratory to conduct blood sample tests.
"I don’t know this girl (Okorie) because I have not seen her before. I was surprised to see the police storm my hospital yesterday (Wednesday) talking about child trafficking. Today, they brought us here," he added.
On his part, Tobechukwu, who said his hospital was at Nkpor, near Onitsha, said a woman brought Okorie to his hospital for blood test.
He said, "This woman (Okorie) has a medical condition, which I won’t want to discuss here. She was brought by one woman, who said she was a nurse. I didn’t document their addresses because we did not do any treatment. What we did was blood test and they left. I’m from Enugu and I’m working in somebody’s hospital at Nkpor. I have nothing to do with child trafficking."
Parading the suspects at the Anambra Police Command headquarters at Amawbia, the Police Public Relations officer, Nkeiru Nwode, said the suspects were arrested on Wednesday after a tip off.
She said Okorie had come to Idoma village in Umuoji, Idemili-North Local Government Area of the state and stolen a four-year-old boy, but luck ran out on her when people raised the alarm and she was apprehended.
The PPRO said before the incident, Okorie had stolen a child belonging to a pastor in the state.
Nwode alleged that the doctors were accomplices who linked the traffickers to ready markets.
She said two of the accomplices, a nurse and a female evangelist, whose names were not given as of press time, were still at large.