By Mustapha Sumaila
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has arrested a 38- year- old herbalist for allegedly selling a new born baby for N650,000.
The accused, Chigozie John Emmanuel, A.K.A ‘Akuchi’, allegedly sold the new born baby to a woman whom he promised to make pregnant spiritually.
The Head, Press and Public Relations of NAPTIP, Mr Josiah Emerole, said in Abuja on Sunday that Emmanuel, who is from Enugu State, owned “Akuchi Herbal Concept”, located at New Nyanya, Abuja.
He was arrested after weeks of surveillance mounted by officers of the agency and those of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Emanuel was previously arrested by the Nigerian Police, when a woman was caught with a baby in Abuja en route Minna, Niger State.
Emerole stated that the herbalist told his victim he has made her pregnant and cautioned her against seeking medical assistance and not to go for ante-natal care.
When it was time for her to deliver, the victim was directed by Emmanuel to Port-Harcourt where a baby was handed over to her.
Emerole disclosed that the victim confessed paying the suspected child trafficker the sum of N650,000.
He noted that the suspect who was arrested at the weekend was currently under investigations for alleged child trafficking and will be charged in court as soon as investigation was concluded.
The spokesperson said the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has commended the officers for their painstaking surveillance which led to the arrest.
She warned members of the public, especially women, to stop patronizing such ‘herbalists’, as the sale of babies was a crime punishable by law.
“I am urging couples who wish to adopt a child to go through normal procedure acceptable by law.
“I am reiterating the commitments of the agency to tackle the issue of child trafficking in Nigeria.
“I am appealing for more information from the general public about any such act or ‘illegal maternity homes’ in their neighbourhood where these unwholesome activities take place” she said. (NAN)