A couple, Adeola and Binta Adebayo were arrested on Sunday by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) in Ikeja, Lagos for allegedly operating a baby factory following a tip off from a journalist.
According to state Police Commissioner, Edgal Imohimi, the suspects usually harboured young pregnant women at their 1, Treasure Palace Close, off Hand of Fair Bus Stop, Ikotun-Igando Road residence.
Imohimi said the suspects usually sold the children after the young women had been delivered of the babies without the mothers’ consent.
The police commissioner said: “They harboured young pregnant girls until they are delivered of their babies after which these babies are taken from them and sold without the consent of the young mothers.
“During the raid, three young women were rescued. They were – Favour Osikwemeh, 19, (six months pregnant), Precious Emmanuel, 27, (seven months pregnant), and Onome Oputi, 25, (nine months pregnant).
“The victims will be handed over to National Agency for the Prohibition in Persons (NAPTIP) for care while the couple will be handed over for possible prosecution.”
Speaking to journalists, Osikweme said a friend of hers, Lepa, introduced her to the place.
She said: “I was not told it is a baby factory. I was staying with my friend called Lepa when she told me that her place is too small and offered to take me where I will be delivered of my child.
“I have been there since December last year. The woman told my mum that I am working with her but we didn’t negotiate about payment for my child.”
Emmanuel said she was worried after getting pregnant for a foreigner and was introduced to the baby factory by her sister.
“My sister took me to the woman after I was impregnated by a foreigner. The woman then promised to settle me as soon as I was delivered of my baby,” she said.
However, the couple denied the allegation, insisting that they were only assisting the women, who in-turn helped them with their business.
Binta, who also gave her name as Nene Okoro, claimed that one of the three women was her daughter-in-law, who has lived with them for over four years.
She said: “We are not running any baby factory. I have never sold any baby. Two of the three women only help me with my business. I sell wholesale drinks and they assist me.
“The other woman is my daughter-in-law, who has been living with us for over four years. If I sold babies, how come I didn’t sell my two grandchildren she had earlier.
“I believe some neigbours we have land dispute with are trying to frame my husband and I. I am from Abia State but my husband is Yoruba. We are innocent.”