Mother of a four-month old baby, Mrs Stella Ezinne Ike, has disclosed how her baby was stolen by a Police Corporal, Uche Odoemena popularly called Prince in Okigwe and sold to Mercy Home (Orphanage) in Owerri.
According to her, on December 21, 2016, a lady in her 20s had come to ask for directions to Ndiokonkwo Arondizuogu in Okigwe. “She came down from a red Camry without plate number; a man was behind the steering. My husband gave her directions and we continued with our chores”, she said.
She explained that they were in their compound at Umulu Amuro in Okigwe local government area but became cautious after the girl kept loitering in front of their house despite the directions given her.
According to her, other residents took notice of the lady and the unregistered car and stayed vigilant though she later left.
Mrs Ike explained that around 2 am on December 22, 2016, they were jolted from sleep when Corporal Prince forced their door open in company of the girl and forced everyone to lie face down.
“The policeman pointed a gun at us and asked the girl, ‘is this the baby?’ pointing at our four-month old son, and after she said yes, they just took the baby and stormed into a waiting unregistered red Camry and drove off”, she said.
She disclosed that the culprit was serving at Okigwe Police Division and seconded to the Okigwe residence of AIG Julian Okpareke (rtd).
“Immediately, people noticed the same girl walked into the former AIG house, and alerted others. They surrounded the house and alerted the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Okigwe, Mazi Offor Izuogu who appealed for calm, and with tact we were able to make her come out,” she explained.
“During interrogation, they admitted that they stole my baby and gave him to the owner of Mercy Home, an Orphanage in Orji, Owerri for N600,000”, she said in a heavy-laden voice.
According to her, the proprietress of Mercy Home said she rallied round for the money for fear that they may sell the baby to ritualists, and may cut short the life of the promising child.
Married to Mr Chukwudi Ike, Mrs Ike called on nursing mothers to be vigilant and wary of strangers around them, to safeguard their babies.
Already, Corporal Prince has been dismissed following an orderly room trial and is alleged to have been remanded at the Owerri Prisons on the orders of a high court.