The Lagos State Police Command on Sunday said it had rescued 19 pregnant girls and four kids; all of which were suspected to have been abducted by persons engaged in child trafficking.
The Command, in a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer (PRO) DSP Bala Elkana, on Sunday, said that it also had arrested two female suspects, Happiness Ukwuoma, 40, and Sherifat Ipeya, 54, in connection with the incident.
Elkana said the command had launched a manhunt on the principal suspect and mother of five. She is simply known as Madam Oluchi said to be a native of Mbano in Imo.
He said: “Detectives from the Isheri-Osun Police Station rescued 19 pregnant girls and four children from four different locations in Ikotun area of Lagos State suspected to be used for child trafficking.
“The victims were mostly abducted by the suspects from different states and brought to Lagos; and turned them into baby factories by getting them pregnant only to sell off the babies to potential buyers,“ he said.
He said that the pregnant girls, who were between the ages of 15 and 28 were alleged trafficked from the following states: Rivers; Cross River; Akwa Ibom; Anambra; Abia; and Imo States to Lagos State.
He said that the suspects who were natives of Imo and Epe in Lagos State did not have any formal medical training but were allegedly operating as nurses.
“The girls were tricked and recruited from different areas and brought to work as domestic staff while the babies they gave birth to are usyally sold for between N300,000 and N500,000 depending on their sexes.
“Boys usually are sold for N500,000 each and girls are sold for N300,000 each,” he said.
Elkana said that the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu, had visited the locations; as well as ordered the State Criminal Investigation Department to take over the case.
“The command is working with other agencies and stakeholders in rehabilitating and resettling the pregnant girls and the babies; while investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be charged to court,“ Elkana said.