From; Madu Ezenoha, Enugu
A widow from Ebonyi state, Mrs. Esther Agwu-Okachi, from Amasiri, Afikpo North local government area is presently crying out over alleged abduction and selling of her two children by human traffickers.
Her cry has attracted the attention of South East zonal Leadership of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), which
Friday in Enugu, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris to order the Orlu Area office of Imo State Police command to immediately hand over to National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic on Person (NAPTIP), the case file involving the sale of the two children of the widow.
The national publicity secretary of CD, who is also the chairman of the human rights and pro-democracy group in South East zone, Comrade Dede Uzor A. Uzor, who made the appeal while addressing a press conference stated that the appeal became necessary due to alleged mishandling of a report of child trafficking it lodged with the police at Orlu.
Dede Uzor said that following a report from Mrs. Agwu-Okachi, that her three children were stolen while one escaped from the traffickers; the group stormed Orlu Area office of Imo state police command, where one of the
suspects, one Okezie Aguabata was already being detained, and discovered that the matter was not receiving required attention.
The human rights group alleged that the Area Commander, one Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Edet, instead of arresting all the named suspects and going after the people they sold the children to, in order to recover them; only directed the wife of the detained suspect to go and bring back one of the children who they admitted have been sold.
Dede Uzor said they have already reported the matter to NAPTIP zonal office in Enugu and pleaded with the IGP to direct the Orlu Area office to hand over the case file to NAPTIP for proper handling and recovery of the two children before it is too late.
He said that the suspect, now in police custody, along with other suspects at large, tricked the widow to steal her children, while they sent her to Lagos to live with a couple.
According to the group, the widow on getting to Lagos was received by a “Madam” who told her that the people who sent her ought to have told her the truth, that she was coming for prostitution and possible transfer to Ghana or other African countries where she will be forced to sell any of her organs.
The woman (Madam) that received the widow took her to a brothel to resume work, but the widow protested and continued to cry, a development that made the Madam to send her away the next day without money or knowledge of how to find her way back to Orlu, where the suspect in custody of the police lives and runs an eatery and beer palour business.
Meanwhile, when the widow was sent to Lagos, she was told that her three children, namely; Chinedu (9), Brenda (6) and Victor (4) will be handed over to the suspect’s mother to take care of them while they resume their schooling in Orlu.
But on her return two days later, she discovered that two of her children (Brenda, female and Victor, male) had been sold, while the eldest son, Chinedu escaped from them and was wandering about when a good Samaritan rescued him and called the mother (widow), who subsequently reported the matter to police before inviting Campaign for Democracy.
The widow, Mrs. Agwu-Okachi said that it was one of her kinsmen at Amasiri, in Afikpo North LGA of Ebonyi state, Ifeanyi Ezitiri that approached her and convinced her to go to Orlu and meet the suspect, Aguabata, promising her that the man will employ her at his restaurant business.
She said Ifeanyi gave the man her phone number and the man called her to ensure that she comes with her three children so that he would enroll them in school at Orlu.
The man later sent her N1500 as transport fare with which she travelled to Orlu with her children, where on arrival she was deceived to go to Lagos to meet one illusive childless couple.
The widow said that her two children have not been found by the police, recounting that the police at Orlu initially demanded for money before they could go and effect arrest of the main suspect,
Aguabatta who appeared to be a notorious human trafficker.
She said that it was the second day after she reported to the police that they went and arrested the man, seeing that she had no money to offer them.
When contacted, the Area Commander, Orlu Area office, ACP Edet said the matter has been transferred to the State Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) saying that he personally considers any child adoption that did not follow due process to be child stealing.
Attempt to get the reaction of the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Imo state police command, Andrew Enwerem was unsuccessful as he couldn’t take calls placed on his cell phone as at the time of filing this report.