The Oyo State command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has discovered what it called a baby factory allegedly owned by one Mrs Stella at Block B, House 8, Adebayo Oke Street, in the Sharp Corner, Oluyole area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Two female victims, one of them a pregnant woman, were rescued, while three suspects described as Stella’s accomplices, were arrested.
Briefing journalists yesterday, the NIS Comptroller in the state, Saleh Abdullahi, said the Zone F of the command discovered the baby factory last week and the suspected operator of the factory, Stella, is now at large.
Abdullahi said NIS officials discovered the place in the process of rescuing a 16-year-old girl, Mary Yawa, from her end user, Mrs Kehinde Omotoso, of the Awolowo Bashorun area, Ibadan on January 28, 2019.
Yawa was said to have been delivered of a baby at the factory on August 28, 2018.
“In the process of investigation, Yawa, a Togolese, revealed that she was impregnated by one Adewale when she was a housemaid to one Alhaja from Saki.
“A few days to her delivery, the Alhaja took her to Stella, who is not a nurse, where she was delivered of a baby on August 22, 2018. After her delivery, precisely on August 27, 2018, the Alhaja came to the house with another Igbo woman and took her child away, while Yawa was, thereafter, given to her end user, Omotoso, where she was eventually rescued.
“The NIS officials visited Stella’s house, but did not meet her. Officers met a 25-year-old girl, Odunayo Abiodun, who claimed to be Stella’s area sister, and another 21-year-old pregnant lady, Esther Hadji,” Abdullahi said.
The Comptroller said the heavily pregnant Hadji, a Togolese, claimed she was brought to Stella’s baby factory by her brother, Kodjo.
He added that the NIS and the police had been on the search for Stella and the Alhaja from Saki for many months.
He, however, vowed that Stella and the Alhaja would soon be arrested and prosecuted.
Two victims and the three accomplices were later handed over to the representatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in the presence of the media.
Yawa, whose first baby had been taken away from her, said the Alhaja lied to her that the baby had been given to Adewale’s mother. She, however, said she did not know the whereabouts of her baby and Adewale.
The second victim, Hadji, said that Stella came to meet her brother, Kodjo, that she would assist her to take care of the baby whenever she gave birth.
She said Stella, however, told her after four days of living with her that the baby would be collected from her after birth and given to the mother of the man that impregnated her.
“I knew she was lying, so I told her I would think about it,” she said.
The NSCDC commandant said that the suspect would be charged to court on conclusion of the preliminary investigation.