Olaide Oyelude, Katsina
The Katsina State Police Command has arrested four suspects over the sale of a four-month-old baby girl for N300,000.
The suspects are Zainab Adamu, 25; Ruth Kenneth, 32; Chukwudi Elias, 45; and Chinwudi Umeh, 43.
Though not Katsina State indigenes, Adamu, Ruth and Elias reside in the capital city.
The police arrested the suspects on November 26, 2020, shortly after Umeh took possession of the baby from the mother, Adamu, and money allegedly exchanged hands.
Umeh, Adamu and Kenneth, however, insisted on Tuesday that what transpired was child adoption and not sale as alleged by the police.
Umeh, who is from the Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, said she was a successful trader dealing in tomatoes and onions, adding that she plies her trade between Anambra and Katsina states.
Umeh added that being barren, she discussed her problem with Kenneth, who introduced Adamu to her, adding that the latter agreed to allow the baby to be in her custody for the rest of her life.
She also explained that to formalise the adoption, the three of them approached the Homeless Children’s School in Katsina, where an officer prepared a letter that all of them endorsed.
Umeh stated, “I was surprised when the police later invited me on Friday, a day after I took possession of the baby, and alleged that I bought the baby for N300,000. What really happened was that after we had completed the adoption processes, Adamu explained her predicaments to me that the father of the baby abandoned her and she had to pay her house rent and start her a new life.
“I voluntarily gave her the N300,000. I did not buy the baby. I only took the baby to take care of her and treat her as my own since I am barren.”
Adamu confirmed that Umeh voluntarily gave her the money, adding that she gave out the baby to someone who could take good care of her instead of dumping her in the bush.
Kenneth, who spoke through her lawyer, Moses Okwah, said it was wrong of the police to conclude that the baby was sold.
“The police sounded conclusive. It was a case of child adoption. There was a good motive behind the adoption. The police should have awaited the outcome of investigation before jumping into conclusion that somebody sold the baby and somebody bought the baby,” he stated.
The spokesman for the Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, however, insisted that Umeh paid N300,000 for the baby.
He revealed that the sum of N165,000 was found on Adamu when she was arrested, while N85,000 was found on Kenneth as of the time of her arrest.
The police spokesman said all the suspects were arrested based on a tip-off and after the deal to sell the baby had been concluded and the baby given to Umeh.
“Investigation is still on,” Isah added.