The Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking has apprehended a 48-year-old man, Anthony Igbinogun, and his girlfriend, Joy Umukoro, 28, for allegedly selling their one-month-old baby to buy drugs.
The suspects were arrested alongside their friend, 26-year-old Precious James, who reportedly facilitated the illegal transaction and linked the couple to the buyer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Taskforce Head of the Investigation Unit, Abigail Ihonre, who disclosed this on Friday in Benin, said the baby was sold for N1.7 million.
“Our investigations revealed that Joy Umukoro, the mother of the baby, delivered the baby in April 2023, and conspired with her boyfriend to sell their baby for N1.7 million. She has confessed to the crime of selling the baby.”
She said investigation into the case is ongoing to locate the buyers and the baby, adding that everyone culpable would be made to face the wrath of the law.
“The suspects said they carried out the dastardly act because they couldn’t take care of the baby. These people are alleged drug addicts and when it was clear that they couldn’t take care of the baby, they decided to sell him. But that wasn’t the best option for them as the decision may destroy their lives.
“The baby’s mother, Joy Umukoro said they sold the one-month-old baby to a willing buyer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State for N700,000. N500,000 was paid cash; N170,000 was given to the agent that took her to the buyer, while the balance was used for drugs.”
“After giving birth to the baby, life became very difficult and I approached my friend to help me with a buyer and she gave me the link. I travelled to Port Harcourt with another woman and sold the baby for N700,000. The drugs I take are the cause. I also sent some money to my other two children for upkeep and some others for my father’s burial,” Joy said.
On his part, Igbinogun, the baby’s father, said after birth, the mother said she couldn’t take care of the baby.
“She told me that her friend Precious James had found a buyer and she travelled to Rivers State to sell the baby and when she returned, she gave me N100,000,” he said.
Also, Precious James, who facilitated the illegal deal, said they all are drug addicts and couldn’t take care of the baby.