NAPTIP sent this warning signal when it took the battle to Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State and sealed off a baby factory in the town. It arrested three persons alleged to have been connected to the crime including a Nigerian-American while a manhunt has been launched for the owner of the place, identified as Nwamaka Ijeoma Agozie.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by NAPTIP head, Press and Public Relations, Stella Nezan,
The baby factory, Nwamaka Herbal Centre, located in Ikpokwu, Ukwa West local government area of Abia State, according to her, was sealed by operatives of the agency following the refusal of the owner to respond to invitations extended to her by the NAPTIP.
Nezan said the investigation of the baby factory followed the arrest a Nigerian-American citizen who was found with two children that she claimed to have delivered at the Nwamaka Herbal Centre but which investigations had proved to be false. The two children are said to be twins.
The suspect had claimed to have given birth to them in March 2020 shortly after she returned from the United States of America.
She claimed to be a pastor in the United States but does not know the man responsible for the alleged pregnancy because she got into multiple sexual affairs in September 2018 in Amsterdam and started experiencing some strange symptoms one month later. During that period she visited a hospital in Atlanta and the doctors allegedly said they could not identify any pregnancy in her.
After several encounters with doctors outside Nigeria who could not confirm her pregnant, the suspect reportedly decided to come to Nigeria and seek the medical service of Mrs. Nwamaka Ijeoma.
NAPTIP quoted her as saying that on March 5, 2020, she came to Nigeria and went to see Mrs. Ijeoma who gave her some types of medicine said to have been mixed with honey and that a few hours later, she gave birth to a set of twin. She claimed to have paid N2million for the delivery.
The deal, however, blew open when the Nigerian-American approached the American Embassy in Abuja to procure necessary documents to leave Nigeria with the children. The embassy allegedly doubted her claims and conducted a DNA test which proved negative. The DNA result, NAPTIP said revealed that she was not the biological mother of the children and that the babies were not even related.
The agency said that the scenario had become more suspicious as the owner of the Herbal Centre where she claimed to have been delivered of the babies had been on the run.
NAPTIP said the babies are at present receiving adequate care at the shelter of the agency while investigation continues.
Reacting to the development, the director-general of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, expressed displeasure with the rising cases of sales of babies and child trafficking in the country and promised thorough investigation into the case with a view to bringing to book the perpetrators.