Ebonyi vigilante nabs suspected child traffickers

The Ebonyi Neighborhood Watch, an Ebonyi sponsored vigilante outfit, has arrested two persons for alleged child trafficking in Ndiegu community, Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

The suspects, Mrs Nkiruka Okpara, an indigene of Imo and Mr Sunday Chukwuma, from Isu community in Onicha local government area were arrested on July 22 at Ndiegu for allegedly attempting to steal a one-year-old baby from her mother.

Briefing newsmen on Wednesday, leader of the vigilante group who spoke with newsmen in local dialect on condition of anonymity for security reasons said they were alerted by youths of the area and swung into action.

The leader said that the suspects were arrested at Ndiagu Ezenmayi community in Onicha while attempting to carry out their nefarious act.

According to him, the suspects who confessed to the crime said that they were working in collaboration with some members of the community.

He said the suspects allegedly tricked their innocent victims who are usually single mothers.

He said that the suspects who confessed their crimes ended up selling the stolen babies to childless couples and those in need of children.

He added that this was done through a network of illegal motherless babies’ homes in Port-Harcourt and other big cities.

He said that luck, however, ran out on the suspects when they arrived the community to prey on innocent victims.

“Their latest target was little Promise Njoku, who is 1 year and three months old, but luck ran out on them when the youths of the community apprehended them before they accomplished their plan.

“After the arrest, we took them to the council secretariat where we handed them over to Mr Felix Igboke, chairman of Onicha local government area for further questioning and handing over to police,” he said.

Miss Chioma Njoku, victim’s mother who narrated the incident, said that Okpara approached her when she went to fetch water at Nwigbo in Agbebor Isu.

Njoku, who is from Agbabor Isu, said she went to meet the suspect after fetching water at Ndiegu Ezemanyi community.

“And on getting there, she told me she is a nurse and wanted to help me by taking me to Port-Harcourt where I will learn how to sell drugs.

Igboke, council chairman of Onicha, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspects have been handed over to the Divisional Police Headquarters for further investigation and prosecution.

When contacted, DSP Loveth Odah, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, said the incident has yet to be reported at the Police Command Headquarters in Abakaliki.

“The command is yet to officially receive a report of the incident and if actually there is such development, the command will be briefed. But for now, we are yet to receive the report,” Odah said.

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