The sale of a set of twins has prompted the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to close down a baby factory in Aba, Abia State.
This was disclosed in a statement by Stella Nezan, the Head, Press, and Public Relations, NAPTIP.
Nezan said the Nwamaka Herbal Centre was sealed off by operatives of NAPTIP following the refusal of the owner to respond to invitations extended to her by the agency.
The location of the baby factory was discovered after a Nigerian-American was found with twins that she claimed to have delivered at the center in March when she returned from the United States. However, further investigations revealed that the claim was false.
The Nigerian-American, who claimed to be a pastor in the US, said she did not know the father of her twin children because she was involved in multiple sexual affairs in September 2018 in Amsterdam and experienced some strange symptoms a month later.
From that point, she claimed to have become confused as she could not ascertain her pregnancy status until she visited a hospital in Atlanta before coming to Nigeria.
The statement read in part, “After several encounters with doctors outside Nigeria, who couldn’t confirm if she was pregnant, she decided to come to Nigeria to seek medical services.
“She further narrated that on March 5, 2020, she came to Nigeria and went to see Mrs. Ijeoma, who gave her some sort of medicine said to have been mixed with honey and that a few hours later, and she gave birth to a set of twins. She claimed to have paid the suspect, Nwamaka, the sum of N2m for the delivery.”
The suspicious arrangement, according to NAPTIP, was blown open when she attempted to get necessary immigration documents for the twins.
The agency said the twins tested negative for a maternal DNA test, showing that she was not the biological mother of the children.
The statement added, “The deal, however, blew open when the Nigerian-American approached the American Embassy in Abuja to procure necessary documents that would enable her to leave Nigeria with the children.
The Embassy doubted her claims and conducted a DNA test, which returned negative. The DNA result revealed that she is not the biological mother of the children and that the babies were not even related to her.
“NAPTIP suspected foul play when the owner of the Nwamaka Herbal Centre, where she claimed to have been delivered of the baby, ran away when she learned that security operatives were in search of her.
However, three suspects connected to the crime have been arrested with a manhunt launched for Nwamaka, the owner of the herbal center.
“The babies are presently receiving adequate care at the shelter of the agency while the investigation continues.”
Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, the Director-General, NAPTIP, expressed displeasure with the rising cases of sale of babies and child trafficking in the country and promised a thorough investigation into the case with a promise to bring the perpetrators to justice.