The Delta State Government has closed down an alleged illegal orphanage, identified as the Foster Paradise, in Ashaka, Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state, while the 22 children found there were evacuated to a government-approved orphanage.
NEWSNAIJA learned the children, made up of 11 males and 11 females, were taken to the Orem Orphanage in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area, and Ojone Orphanage in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered in shutting down the Foster Paradise, the government insisted that the Child Rights Bill as domesticated must be adopted by orphanages across the state.
Speaking during the raid, Mrs. Flora Alatan, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, highlighted that orphanages must comply with the rules and regulations guiding their establishment.
The commissioner, who was represented by Mrs. Oghenekevwe Agas, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, noted that Foster Paradise did not meet up with the requirements for approval before putting 22 children under its care.
Addressing the proprietress of the orphanage, Mrs. Antonett, who was handed over to the police, the commissioner insisted that due process was not followed in accordance with the ministry’s guidelines.
Alatan added that the owner of the orphanage was unable to provide any documents to account for the children in her custody.
The commissioner said the safety of the children was the priority of the government, stressing that the ministry did not have accurate data and information concerning the children.
Antonette, in her defense, said she had relocated from Lagos and begun the registration process but had not acquired the license.