The Edo State Task Force against Human Trafficking has rescued a baby girl, Deborah, who was allegedly sold by a 45-year-old woman, Maureen Ekuase, to one, Grace Idehen, 63, for over N1.75m.
The task force said in a statement on Wednesday that the baby, a victim of human trafficking and illegal adoption, was returned by a woman and a man from the eastern part of the country.
The statement read in part, “Baby Deborah was adopted by one Grace Idehen, 63, of No. 1 Idehen Street, Egor Quarter, Benin City, on December 30, 2019, from the Faith Land Orphanage of No. 9 Osarenren Street, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City, which is owned by Maureen Ekuase, 45.
“Efforts to trace the victim’s parents have not yielded any positive result, as the two suspects, who sold the baby girl for N1,750,000, declined giving the investigation team any useful information.”
The task force urged anyone with useful information about the whereabouts of the victim’s parents to contact it.
Meanwhile, the state government has sent a delegation to sympathise with the victims of the rainstorm that wreaked havoc on Erhurun Uneme in the, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state.
The delegation, which was led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Yakubu Gowon, reassured the victims and other residents that the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration would continue to respond adequately to any form of disaster in any part of the state.
The team also visited the clan head of Uneme Central, Oba A. O. Braimoh, whose residence was among the 25 homes destroyed by the rainstorm.
The governor’s aide was accompanied by officials of the State Emergency Agency, the local government area and other functionaries.
Gowon, who sympathised with the traditional ruler over the incident, urged the residents to take solace in God as natural disasters were not man-made.
He said, “Governor Obaseki got wind of the disaster shortly after it happened and quickly directed the relevant agencies to move to the location to authenticate and take inventory of those affected, including the telephone numbers, data and photos of the affected persons, to facilitate intervention by the state government.
“The governor has mandated us to assure the people of this community, particularly those affected by the rainstorm, that he would swing into action and make available relief materials for the victims.”
In his response, Oba Braimoh thanked the governor for the quick deployment of the team and urged him to urgently intervene in order to bring relief to the people, who had been displaced from their homes.