Pregnant young girls
Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta
In one week, the Ogun State Police Command has discovered purported dens of ritualists and a baby-making factory at various locations in the state. One of the enclave for the heinous crime was unearthed at Akute area of Ifo; local government area, while another was made public at Iyana Egbado village in Ewekoro area. The latest location for the criminal acts was discovered in the state capital, Abeokuta.
Following these discoveries, Ogun State has acquired the notorious reputation of a base for ritualists and baby-making factory.
At the baby-making factory that was discovered in Akute in Ifo local government area of the state, the pregnant women were held in a wardrobe inside the building.
Following a tip-off, men of the Ogun state police raided a bungalow at No. 9 Sebanjo Crescent, off Fabolude bus-stop in Akute. Their intervention led to the rescue of eight pregnant women, including a 16-year-old girl from the baby-making factory, where a baby was allegedly sold at N300,000 each.
The ladies who were held against their wish solely for the purpose of procreation were usually offered pittance after taking delivery of their babies. The infants were then taken from them and sold to unknown persons.
Three of the pregnant women rescued were teenagers. They included 16-year-old Precious Steven, Miracle Eze and Blessing Saviour who are both 17 years old. Others were Jeremiah Gift, 25; Joy Okoro, 20; Stella Samuel, 19; Agnes Igbo, 22 and Vivian Princewill, 20.
The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ikemefunna Okoye, told newsmen that “we discovered the pregnant girls hidden in the wardrobe. One of the girls kept in the wardrobe fainted and she was taken to the hospital and revived.”
He added: “This is inhumanity to human beings. The coordinator (Angela) of this baby factory sold each baby at N300,000 or above. She in turn gives pittance to these young girls. If the mother delivers a stillborn, she will not get anything.”
Meanwhile, the state command has arrested the proprietor of the factory, 29-year old Mrs. Angela Chigoeze, said to hail from Abia State, and her brother-in-law, Obinna Ndunaga.
Angela said she started the business last year as a traditional healing home, claiming that her husband who is now at large, rented the building from where the illicit business was carried out.
But she has denied that the young girls were usually impregnated inside the house, saying they (pregnant women) were either brought by their husbands or traced her address themselves.
On Thursday, a den of ritualists was uncovered in Adigbe area of Akinremi Estate in Abeokuta. Some of the shocking find included fresh human blood, coffin, effigy, scorpion other fetish items.
At the den, three pregnant ladies, three children whose ages range between two and four years were rescued from the base while the police arrested the wife of the suspected owner of the duplex being used as ritualists’ cum baby making factory in the estate.
Items recovered from the den included international passport, identity cards of junior and senior secondary school students of Sacred Heart Catholic College, Oke -Ilewo area of Abeokuta.
Also recovered were male and female clothes suspected to have fallen victim to the ritualists.
The operational base of ritualists was exposed when one of the victims escaped into a building close to the den and pleaded with the occupants to safe her from her assailants.
The pregnant lady victim however informed occupants of the building where she ran to for safety that her elder sister sold her and her unborn baby to the ritualists for the sum of N100, 000.
The victim said the ritualists told her that she would not leave until she was delivered of her baby for which her aunty had collected the said sum.
On Wednesday, an underground ritualists’ operation base was uncovered in Iyana Egbado village in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun state where a middle aged man, Gbenga was in possession of human parts.
Items which included human parts, plastic containers filled with human blood, ladies panties, brassiere, ladies and men shoes, blood stained dresses and duvet were found at the den.
The den is located under a bridge which was about 250 meters away from the main gate of a popular cement company along the Abeokuta -Lagos expressway.
The suspect attempted to kill a woman before she was rescued by a passer -by, who became suspicious of the cellophane bag the suspect was holding and discovered that the contents were severed human parts.
An alarm raised by the victim attracted a crowd from the nearby cement factory as well as the Egbado village as they mobbed the suspect and attempted to kill him.
Gbenga, who was thought to be lunatic pleaded with the crowd not to kill him, saying that he was going to confess.
He claimed to be a member of a five -man syndicate that includes a woman who operated in the Ewekoro axis for nine months is said to came from Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State.
Following these discoveries, Okoye urged residents of the state to be alive to happenings around them, particularly their neighbours. He said nvestigation was still ongoing to unravel the sponsors and collaborators of the baby-making syndicates.
On its part, the Ogun State Government has said that all the eight pregnant young mothers and an eight year old errand girl rescued at a baby making factory in Akute, Ifo Local government area of Ogun State would be rehabilitated and given a new lease of life.
The state government said the pregnant girls aged between 16 and 25 years have been relocated to the Stella Obasanjo Children Home Ibara Abeokuta where they would undergo the first phase of the rehabilitation process.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Sonubi expressed deep shock at the development, disclosing that following the instruction of Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, officials of her Ministry and their rcounterparts in the Ministry of Health had already swung into action to take care of them.
According to the Commissioner, the pregnant girls were referred to the state hospital in Ijaiye for thorough medical examination, after which two of them were discovered to be close to their expected date of delivery.
She added that the two had already been admitted into the hospital for proper monitoring, stressing that social workers have also commenced regular counselling sessions to address the trauma they might have gone through.