On Tuesday Abia State Police Command, paraded a 71-year-old man, said to be a retired pastor, for allegedly stealing a one year-old baby.
The suspect was arrested alongside his wife by the police, following an alarm said to have been raised by the mother of the baby.
Abia State Police Commissioner, Mr. Joshak Habila, who paraded the suspects, said the arrests were part of the achievements of his command for the month of August.
He said a month ago, a 21-year-old pregnant mother reported that she lost her 11 months old baby to a supposed friend under the pretence of offering help to her.
The police boss said luck, however, ran out on the supposed friend, when the anti- robbery squad of the command intercepted him at Owerrinta and arrested him for allegedly trafficking pregnant girls to Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
He said the arrest led to the discovery of a child, who was previously stolen in Aba and allegedly sold to the retired pastors’ wife, who was said to have kept the deal away from her husband.
According to Habila, the suspect sold the baby for N500,000 to the wife of a pastor who allegedly lied to her husband that she went through the normal process of adoption for the baby.
The wife of the pastor, the commissioner explained, admitted to have paid for the baby in the premises of Federal Medical Centre, FMC, in Umuahia, through her friend, one Maria Mba, said to a senior civil servant in Bende Local Government Area.
But her pastor husband denied knowledge of the illegal adoption of the baby, saying he had been requesting from his wife the adoption documents which he claimed he never saw till date.
The other suspects, Maria Mba and Ekwutosi, also explained their role in the transaction, with Ekwutosi saying he connected Maria to the illegal deal.
He claimed that Mba approached him and requested for baby girl which he arranged for and procured, after which he invited them to the FMC where the deal was finally sealed.
Though Mba said she collected the money and gave to Ekwutosi N400,000 and kept N100,000 as part of her share of the deal, Ekwutosi denied receiving the money from her