A visit to some communities in Rivers, Abia and Imo states will reveal the existence of certain Maternity homes and Child care centres.
Many of them without sign posts and behind tall gates and high fenced walls carry out the illicit business of child trafficking unhindered and smile to their various banks.
They also keep teenage girls and allow their sons or male syndicate to impregnate them. They provide antenatal care through their registered maternity homes for the girls and after the gestation period, sell the fruits of labour to desperate childless couples for between N450,00 to N500,000.
They get more when a barren woman is made to go through a make-believe pregnancy and fabricated delivery. Under that system, only a DNA test will reveal the fraudulent arrangement perpetrated by these Maternity home operators.
The Precious Ogbonna story and recently, that of the America bound couple, Mr and Mrs Adenuga Shoyibo who claimed they are the parents of five-month-old set of twins said to have been delivered in Port Harcourt, Rivers State were disproved by a DNA test. Other revelations made by the several impregnated girls rescued from maternity homes in Aba, Port Harcourt and Imo state recently also lend credence to this unwholesome practice.
Following a raid on a few of these homes recently by security personnel, some of the popular ones have gone into hiding and their homes under lock and key, while a few others still operate under the guise of legal maternity homes. When Saturday Vanguard visited some of these areas recently, those who had signposts directing to their homes have removed them while a few others still carry out their clandestine activities.
Helen Maternity, Rukpukwu, PH On Denis street, about three minutes-walk from the Rukpukwu juction, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, is Helen Maternity home. No number was printed on the wall, but baby seekers will nerver miss their way. Behind the narrow tall gate and high fenced walls which take away the prying eyes of the public and law enforcement agents, all manner of absurdities take place. Like a model of most maternity homes, the first flat is used for this trade while the other bungalow about 50 metres from the clinic is the residence of the operator of this clinic.
While waiting for the fair complexioned woman who speaks Yoruba fluently, Saturday Vanguard engaged a woman in discusion and the revelation was startling. She disclosed that she had been barren for several 18 years before she met Nurse Helen who administered natural medicine on her and a few months after she had a baby. She disclosed that her first baby died six months after but she returned to the clinic again and God gave her a set of twins.
Two years after she is hoping to get another baby. On the bills, she said it depends on the agreement reached with Nurse Helen, adding that she parted with huge sums of money. “I don’t mind what I pay, the important thing is that I get what I want, You just ask your wife to come and leave the rest for Nurse Helen. It is possible,” she advised.
Nurse Blessing, PH On Ohonda close in Rukpakulusi, Nurse Blessing was popular. Many in the neighbourhood knew her as an auxiliary nurse. She was said to have received her training from the popular Madam Ayodele Omosuyi who is regarded as Patron of the illicit trade.
Ayodele Omosuyi Natural Clinic is in Okigwe, Imo State. Nurse Blessing who is now at large was the source of the General overseer of Christ Salvation Ministry, Owerri, Precious Ogbonna, whose five out of the seven babies, the DNA test sponsored by Vanguard proved the acclaimed mother wrong.
According to neighbours, no one has seen Nurse Blessing since the last two years and the apartment has been rented out by her Abuja based husband.
Rose Natural Clinic Saturday Vanguard had earlier visited Rose Natural Clinic, on Afam Street, Heritage Junction, to confirm a related story. The home which was a beehive of activities mainly during the weekends is presently deserted. Except for the other unit of flat in the compound, nothing seems to be going on there. Neighbours around noted that the operator of home, Madam Rose has not been seen for quite some time.
Others maintained that it may not be unconnected with the recent raid of maternity homes by the police where phantom baby deliveries take place. Neighbours confirmed that in recent times, only few female visitors suspected to be baby seekers visit the home unlike what it used to be. Rose carried her business from this place.
Ogechi Natuaral Clinic The clinic is popular for its activities as neighbours on the Afam street disclosed that people come from far and near for child births. Unlike what is common to all the clinics, Ogechi Clinic has a sign post but directing to no where in particular.
In a tall fenced bungalow apartment, Ogechi’s clinic, with many young ladies around could deliver babies to new clients in a few weeks. According to an unsuspecting source, she has a large network of sources which readily deliver for her. Her charges range between N1.2million to N1.5million for twins and N750, 000 for a male child and takes a little less for female child.
A native hinted Saturday Vanguard that people come there with posh cars. She was also said to have been trained by Ayodele Omosuyi Natural Clinic in Okigwe. Another source said that Ogechi is so tough that she will not deliver her clients of babies if all bills are not settled even after the delivery date, yet she could deliver any client of babies within three months if the cash is available.
Ayodele Omosuyi, Okigwe After the police raided the Ayodele Omosuyi Natural Clinic in Ugwuaku, Okigwe, Imo State recently, the ever busy place and a meeting point for desperate habitue is under lock and key.
The commercial motorcycle operators in the area were ready to give information. One disclosed that since after the police raided the place, and the release of the owner of the home, activites have shifted to another place. Another maintained that, before the raid, the security agencies were not unaware of the deal going on in the home, adding that some people saw it as a way of helping those who could not have babies of their own on the one hand and those who out of circumstances do not want the babies on the other .
Mrs Ayodele Omosuyi is a middle aged woman. She is popularly referred to as Iyawo, and is said to be influential in the rural community of Ugwuaku. She is also regarded as the big-fish in the business having trained quite a lot of young women in the trade.
Sources said she charges between N1million and N1.8million for a baby and a set of twins respectively. Our Okada sources maintained that pastors, clergymen and women, people from far and near, in posh cars before now visited the home.
The investigations showed that child trafficking and selling of babies are on the rise, and the traffickers hide under the cloak of native maternity operations to arrange babies for baby seekers while young women, who found a solution ground for unwanted babies, dump them in the clinics for onward sale or birth arrangement to desperate women.
Recently, the law enforcement agents last December raided the Omosuyi Natural clinic with officials of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) after a tip-off. While Nurse Blessing is still nursing the ache caused by her deal with Precious, several others still operate unhindered with several kids being transferred to desperate women.
Nnenna Motherless Babies Home An orphanage allegedly owned by Nnenna Mba, and two men – Mba Agbai and Chinwoke Mba; located at Umuozu, Osisioma Local Government area of Abia state is another baby factory centre. A source said it was initially set up with the view to giving shelter and care to abandoned and motherless babies, but it has since metamophorsed into a camp where young girls are assembled and put in the family way and the fruits of their labour are sold to desperate habitue. We gathered that the home was raided last month with about 32 pregnant teenagers rescued, but sources privy to activities in the home said the clandestine operation still goes on.
Ahamefula Motherless Babies Home Madam One Thousand as she is popularly called owns the Ahamefula Motherless Babies Home, located at Umuaka in Njaba Council Area of the state. It is also known for keeping vulnerable girls who are put in the family way by their boy friends.
Sources said she has a network of associates especially laboratory technicians. It was revealed that if any girl tests positive for pregnancy, the laboratory technician working for Madam One Thousand would refer the girl to the home and the baby is delivered after nine months. Interestingly,stamping her feet in the business, she was said to also have a maternity home where victims are taken to be delivered of their babies.
Recently, the home was raided by security operatives and nine girls were said to have been rescued from the home. A neighbour, who volunteered information on condition of anonymity, said: “All we saw were people coming to buy water but we began to express worry when we noticed flashy cars coming to the place at night.”
Meanwhile, a few days ago, the chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Eze Samuel Ohiri banished Madam One Thousand from the state. The monarch stated that the action of the woman desecrated the norms and customs of the land, adding that trafficking of babies and ritual killings are forbidden in Igbo land and attributed the rising cases of these crimes and others to disrespect of Igbo customs and traditions.
Comfort Orphanage Home The arrest of operators of Ahamefula Motherless Babies Home last week has also triggered the raid of another baby factory at Umuokoro Umuguma in Owerri West LGA of the state, named Comfort Orphanage Home, a few days, ago by men of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps.
It was further gathered that the said operators use another racketeer in the child selling syndicate, Ekene Orphanage and Maternity Centre, Ogbosisi, Umuguma, where pregnant women in their care go for antenatal to deliver the babies. We gathered that before the raid, baby seekers thronged the homes to buy children. The place is deserted at the moment.
How they get babies for sale Many of these homes habour several teenage girls and engage their male syndicate to put them in the family way. After deliveries of babies by the teenage girls, which take place in their maternity homes, they surreptitiously arrange baby seekers who have been put on queue for deliveries into labour and thus the habitue gets a baby or twins as the case may be.
The sum of N750,000 and N1.5miilion is charged for a baby and a set of twins respectively while about N50,000 or a little more is given to the teenage girl who actually delivered the baby as a parting gift. Such a girl can be re-engaged for another round of nine-month-deal.
Apart from engaging teenage girls who deliver babies, some of these homes encourage girls with unwanted pregnancies through their laboratory technicians and doctors spread accros the country. One of the girls apprehended recently disclosed that she was referred to the home by a doctor in Lagos after she confessed she did not want the pregnancy.
The lies and deceits of pregnancies in maternity homes
Investigations revealed that these clinics administer certain substances on the patients that cause a temporary movement in the stomach and to make the client believe that pregnancy has occurred and of course a baby is kicking. Most times according to our checks, it happened once or twice depending on the volume of the substance administered. The client is warned not to go to any hospital or undergo ultra-sound or any sort of test for a certain period.
Thereafter, a delivery date is given to the client. The date is not necessarily the nine-month gestation period but according to the desire of the client and how quickly is able to complete the payment for the fabricated delivery. The client could have a baby after a three to four-month period depending on the agreement reached. It could also stretch beyond nine months if the client was not able to pay the bill.
Again, for those who desire to feed their babies, a tablet called Mutlin is administered a week or two before the expected delivery. This according to our source, will prepare the client for the task of breastfeeding with ease. She also added that this will convince anyone in doubt of the delivery. In fact, our unsuspecting source advised the reporter to immediately procure the tablet and let his wife take two, three times daily for two weeks while assuring the reporter that the family will have a baby in the next one month.
Further investigations revealed that at the time of ‘delivery,’ another substance is administered on the woman, which causes uneasiness; a false impression of labour. At this point, nobody is allowed into the delivery room, not even the husband or any female member of the family.
This also happened during an encounter with Rose Maternity home in Obigbo where Precious Ogbonna got baby number 8. During the Precious Ogbonna concocted delivery, inspite of the curiosity and prior arrangement, to have a woman by her side throughout the whole exercise, it was rebuffed. People were only called in to see the baby after it was arranged.
In fact, a colleague stated that the blood all over the baby was not fresh and what was called a placenta never looked like a real one. The arrangement is near perfect that the client would swear with everything on earth that she delivered the baby. But for DNA test , there would not have been any bubble burst. It was the DNA test that proved Precious Ogbonna wrong inspite of her claims that she delivered the eight babies under two years.
Just a couple of weeks back, a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Adenuga Shoyibo who claimed they are the parents of five-month-old twins were at the United States of America’s embassy to obtain visa for the twins but their request was turned down after the report of a DNA test ordered by the embassy showed that the couple were not the biological parents of the twins as claimed.
The couple got the twins from Helen Okoro Maternity home a few months ago in Port Harcourt after paying N1.8million for the set of twins. Just as Mrs Shoyibo had sworn that she was pregnant and delivered of the set of twins, so are several other desperate baby seekers who patronise maternity homes in Port Harcourt, Aba, Imo and other areas.