SIXTEEN pregnant girls have been rescued from a ‘Baby Factory’ in Aba, the commercial city of Abia state by the Abia state Command of Directorate of State Service,DSS.
Aba and its environs have of recent become notorious for illegal charity homes where babies are delivered and sold to buyers who are always available to patronize the business.
According to the state Director of DSS, Mr. Matthew Obodoechi, who paraded the young girls yesterday at the Command’s state Headquarters, Umuahia, the girls whose ages range between 17 and 37 years, were rescued on Monday from a ‘charity home’.
Obodoechi said that they were rescued from a charity home, named Cross Foundation International, located along Anyamele Street in Umungasi area of Aba.
He gave the name of the proprietor of the baby factory home as Dr. Hyginus Ndudim Orikara, who also has been arrested.
The DSS Director has also vowed that the medical practitioner, Orikara, would be prosecuted.
The Medical Doctor is said to be an employee of Abia state Government, that has been actively involved in the fight against this menace in the state.
Obodoechi expressed great concern, affirming that the issue of baby factory has emerged as a new trend of crime in Abia state and other parts of the South East.
His words: “It is another kind of kidnapping where babies are snatched at point of birth and sold. It is a big shame, a big problem and it all boils down to the kind of values we have in the society today, life is not valued”, Obodoechi lamented.
However, the proprietor of the home, Dr. Orikara denied running a baby factory. He claimed that his Cross Foundation was legitimately registered as a charity home.
According to him, babies were not sold in home after delivery, but were usually released to their mothers to go home and nurse them.
He defended the large number of pregnant girls at the charity home, saying that it was because “we are running operation nurse your own baby”.
Dr. Orikara also claimed that girls with unwanted pregnancy brought to the home were usually encouraged and assisted to cope with their pregnancies, deliver them and nurse the babies.
However, Obodoechi dismissed Dr. Orikara’s claim saying that confessional statements made by the pregnant ladies have revealed that the doctor was indeed operating a full-time baby factory business.
He disclosed that the ladies “upon delivery are given a paltry sum of N50, 000 and sent away, while their babies are sold to people from different parts of the country”.
The DSS Director regretted that some people have chosen to hide under the cover of non-governmental organizations,NGOs “to perpetrate various forms of illegal activities, including baby factories”.
According to him, “those hiding under the cover of NGOs to perpetrate modern form of slave trade are warned to abstain from such illegalities as security agencies will stop at nothing but to ensure that they are apprehended and made to face the law”.
Obodoechi advised the public “to desist from encouraging pregnant ladies to go to ‘baby factories’ for whatever reason, whether financial or otherwise”.