Nigerian police rescued women from ‘baby factories’

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Happiness Ukwuoma and Sherifat Ipeya untrained nurses working at the ‘baby factory’ who were arrested by police. Photo/PD/Agency

Lagos, Tuesday

Nigerian police have freed 19 pregnant women from properties in Lagos, which they describe as “baby factories”.

Most of the women had been abducted “for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies”, a police statement said. Two women who operated as untrained nurses have been arrested but the main suspect is on the run.

Police said that male babies would be sold for $1,400 (Sh140,000) and the females for $830 (Sh83,000).

They added that the children were to be trafficked, but it was not clear who or where the potential buyers were.

Four children rescued

Stories of these so-called “baby factories” are not uncommon in Nigeria. There have been several raids in the past including one last year when 160 children were rescued.This time four children were rescued.

The rescued girls and women, aged between 15 and 28, had been lured to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, from different parts of the country with the promise of employment. But they were then held in the properties and raped.

“A woman came to pick me at the bus park and brought me here,” one of those rescued told the Vanguard newspaper.

“The next day, I was summoned by our madam, who told me that I would not leave the premises until next year,” she is quoted as saying. 

“So far, I have slept with seven different men before I discovered I was pregnant. I was told that after delivery, I would be paid handsomely.”

One woman told Reuters she was pregnant by her boyfriend when her aunt told her there was a job for her in Lagos. Instead, her labour was induced when she was seven months pregnant and the baby died shortly after, the woman said.

Held against will

Another victim told the BBC that she was held against her will and prevented from leaving when she discovered her baby was going to be sold. 

Another said her phone and money were taken from her and she was told she could not leave the home to seek medical help despite her condition.

The women and children have now been rehoused and are being rehabilitated, the police said.

“The mothers and babies imprisoned in a “baby factory” are now in a shelter receiving social and medical support, Julie Okah-Donli, the Director General of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons said.  -BBC

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