Trafficking: 11 children from Gombe remain unclaimed three months after ― Anambra police
The Anambra State police command says it has received back about 11 unclaimed children, suspected to have been stolen by one Madam Hauwa Usman on October 20, 2019, in Gombe State and brought to her accomplice in Anambra State.
This development was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, by the State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Mohammed Haruna, on Tuesday evening.
According to Mohammed, it will be recalled that on October 20, 2019, following an intelligence report, police operatives attached to the Anambra State Police Command arrested three female suspects at Nkpor Market/Tarzan Junction in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State, with three children suspected to have been stolen.
Investigations revealed that the children were stolen from Gombe State by one Hauwa Usman ‘f” on October 20, 2019, and brought to her accomplices in Anambra State. Following the public announcement by the command on October 27, 2019, parents of the two kids from Gombe State came to Awka and identified their children.
Consequently, those children have since reunited with their parents and suspects were handed over to the Gombe State Police Command for discreet investigation and prosecution.
The PPRO said upon interrogation by the police in Gombe State, suspects voluntarily confessed that they steal children and bring to their sponsor, one Mrs Nkechi Odinye, in Anambra State who buys each child at the rate of between two hundred and four hundred thousand naira (N200,000 to N400,000), depending on their age bracket and gender.
Following voluntary confession by the suspects and while acting on a tip-off, police detectives attached to 3-3 Division Onitsha, in collaboration with operatives attached to the command’s Special Anti-Cult Section (SPACS), stormed the hideout of the principal suspect, one Mrs Nkechi Odinye, ‘f’, aged 55 years, and effected her arrest at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He said the suspect had hitherto evaded arrest for over three years by changing location until her arrest. The team equally recovered 16 other children of various age brackets, comprising 10 boys and six girls, reasonably suspected to have been stolen from different parts of the country under her custody.
“Both the suspect and the found children were handed over to the Gombe State Police Command where four of the children were identified and reunited with their biological parents after exhaustive investigation and forensic analysis, including DNA tests. Also, one of them was handed over to the parents in Asaba, Delta State.
“However, on the 18/1/2021 the Gombe State Police Command returned 11 unclaimed children comprising seven boys and four girls, back to the Anambra State Command where the children were originally found. They were subsequently handed over to the Anambra State Ministry for Social Welfare, Women’s and Children’s Affairs, for safekeeping until their biological parents emerge.
“Meanwhile, the Command now has a total number of 18 unclaimed children rescued from suspected child traffickers.
“In view of the foregoing, members of the public are kindly requested by the Commissioner of Police Mr John Bassey Abang, to disseminate this message through their mediums to enable the biological parents or close relatives identify these children whose photographs appear hereunder to claim them.
“Anyone with useful information about the found children should report at Area Command Onitsha, 3-3 Divisional Police Station, Nkwelle Ezunaka, or contact the PPRO, Anambra State Police Command, through GSM no 08060970639.”