The Police Intelligence team from the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Yaba, Lagos, have arrested a top leader of a human trafficking syndicate.
The 38 year-year old woman, Philomena Nweke, who allegedly supplied four stolen babies to a 52 year-old woman, in order to deceive her husband that she could conceive after 20 years of marriage, is said to be in their custody.
Reports has it that the suspect, Philomena Nweke, was tracked and arrested in Aba town, Abia State and brought to Lagos for investigation in order for her to reveal where she got the children, which she sold to one Mrs. Margaret Ejemogo, who lives with her husband, Johnson, at Onawale Street, off Afiz Lawal Street, Alagbado area of Lagos, collecting N9m from him in the process.
According to police sources, the four stolen children have been rescued and taken into protective custody at a Lagos State Government facility, as efforts being made to locate their parents have proved abortive.
Reports say Mrs. Margaret was said to have stayed several years in her marriage and was unable to bear another child. She was worried that she would lose her marriage if she did not bear any other child for her husband, Johnson.
The woman then reportedly arranged with one Mrs. Okocha, now at large, who claimed to be running a fertility herbal home in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos and a suspected human trafficker, Mrs. Nneka; on how to fake a pregnancy, buy stolen babies and deceive her husband.
In 2015, Margaret introduced her husband, Johnson to Mrs. Okocha as a traditional herbal home doctor, who deals only with fertility problems in women in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos. Mrs. Okocha promised the man, Johnson, that she would treat his wife, Margret, who would consequently become pregnant and bear him a child. Johnson believed her and parted with over N9 million allegedly.
After sometime, Johnson was informed that his wife, Margaret, was pregnant and that he would not be able to sleep with her again until after the birth of the child.
According to Johnson, he believed them because he saw his wife’s protruding stomach as indicatiin of pregnancy.
Later, Mrs. Margret informed her husband, Johnson, that she had been delivered of twins – a boy and a girl and the babies were named.
Again in 2017, in the same manner, they faked yet another pregnancy and Margret informed her husband, Johnson, that she was delivered of another set of twins, a boy and a girl.
They named the babies and went for thanksgiving in their church.
However, the whole scam got exposed when the children began to grow older and started behaving strangely. Also, there was no single sign of resemblance of the children to either their father, Johnson or mother, Margaret, which gave rise to suspicion and prompted Johnson to take the children for DNA testing to ascertain both paternity and maternity of the children.
The result of the DNA test showed that there was no single link between the children and their parents despite the false hope Margret had given the husband, Johnson, that they were the biological parents of the children.
Shocked and betrayed, Johnson reported the scam to the police to investigate his wife and those behind the alleged scam.
During interrogation, Philomena Nweke was mentioned and she was arrested.
Both Philomena and Margaret have been charged before the Ebutte Meta Magistrate Court, where they are facing trial over the alleged conspiracy and theft of babies.