The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said its men have uncovered a booming baby factory in Uruan Local Government Area of the state where babies are conceived, born and later sold to ritualists and other shadowy characters.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in Uyo, the state’s new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Gwadabe, said, “Three pregnant girls and four others between the ages of 18 and 20 years have been rescued from the factory,” while the factory owner, a quark physician, Dr. Wisdom Effiong Mbaba and a few others were at large.
In a confessional statement, one of the arrested teenage mothers, Aniebiet Okon Sunday, from Ikot Ntuen Oku, Uyo Local Government Area told newsmen that she sold her baby for a meagre N70, 000.
Asked what prompted her to sell her baby, she blamed it on poverty, saying there was no money to take care of the baby and the man who put her in a family way had abandoned her.
The teenager who showed no remorse for her action, however, refused to disclose the sex of the baby and the identity of the man who fathered the baby.
Meanwhile, the state police command in collaboration with some village youths of Nung Ikot Obiodo, Oruk Anam Local Government have arrested a dismissed soldier, Umar Joshua, and recovered one AK 47 riffle, two magazines and nineteen rounds of ammunition from him.
Also arrested by the police operatives, according to the CP were - Benjamin Edoho of Ikot Oso Eket, Eket Local Government Area who attempted to rob one Aniefiok Edet of Okon Eket; Victor Edet Esu who allegedly tried to kidnapped 4 years old Miss Rachael Ezekiel Antai; and Victor Bassey Udo of Ikot Udom village, Ibiono who was the suspected mastermind of the kidnap of one Daniel Imeh Essien along Ediene village by Itu/Calabar Highway.
Moreover, some locally made pistols, 16 cartridges and 20 rounds of live ammunitions were recovered from the men.
Also arrested by the police were: Nse Sunday Ekpeyong of Anua Obio village, Uyo for the alleged kidnap of surveyor Christopher Nyong Mkpanam of Atan Offot, as well as, Anthony Emmanuel of Ikot Mbang village and his suspected gang member, Udeme Denis Okon of Mbiabam Ibiono.
Aside the suspects, one single barrel of locally made pistol with one live cartridge and a sack of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp were also recovered.
The state police commissioner, Mr. Umar Gwadabe reiterated the determination of the police to protect lives and property in the state, saying that with the maximum support enjoyed from the government, the state was gradually becoming too hot and uncomfortable for criminals and mischief makers.
He expressed gratitude to the state governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio for security strategies put on ground to fight crime in the state.