A Reverend Father who claimed to be the parish priest at Our Lady of Fatima, Woliwo, Onitsha, Anambra State, Rev. Father Chike Ejiofor, and others have been arrested for his alleged involvement in the stealing of an 18-month-old baby, Abdullahi Azeez, in Osogbo, Osun State.
One of the suspects, 28-year-old Joy Esu, said she had approached the mother of the baby at her shop and pretended that she wanted to learn tailoring and the mother accepted.
Two days after, Esu said she absconded with the baby when the mother went to the market to buy some things. She said she gave the baby to her boyfriend, Sidney Onwuka.
Onwuka was said to have sold the baby to one Maxwell Agu, who claimed to be running a government registered orphanage at Orlu, Imo State. Esu said she did not know if her boyfriend was using charms to manipulate her, adding that he had never given her any money despite stealing six children which he sold.
She said, “He (Sidney) always sent me to do anything and I would go without hesitation. I even sold my daughter to him, but he didn’t give me ordinary N5.”
The boyfriend, Onwuka, said he had sold six babies to the operator of the orphanage, including his own child, adding that the operator paid him N200,000 for his child.
The priest became involved in the matter when one Elizabeth, a member of his parish, contacted him for help to adopt a male child. The cleric said he contacted the operator of the orphanage.
According to him: “He later brought the baby to our parish together with Joy (Esu). I called Elizabeth and she said she liked the baby boy. The woman handed N750,000 to me and and I gave it to Maxwell.”
Elizabeth, who adopted the baby, said she had six grown up daughters but wanted to have a male child because of the negative effect of not having a male child in Igbo culture.
The Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Fimihan Adeoye, said the suspects stole the baby and drugged him so that he would not cry out when they were taking him away.