The Abia State Command of Directorate of State Service, DSS, has rescued 16 pregnant girls from a ‘baby factory’ in Aba.
Parading the young girls, yesterday, in his Umuahia office, the state Director of DSS, Mr. Matthew Obodoechi, said the girls and women whose ages range between 17 and 37 were rescued on June 17, 2013.
Obodoechi gave the name of the home as Cross Foundation International, located along Anyamele Street in Umungasi area of Aba.
According to Obodoechi, proprietor of the home, Dr. Hyginus Ndudim Orikara, has been arrested. He vowed that the medical practitioner would be prosecuted.
Ironically, the medical doctor is said to be in the employ of Abia State Government, which has been actively involved in the fight against the “baby factory” menace in the state.
The DSS director expressed worry that menace of baby factory was fast becoming a new crime trend in some South-East states.
He said: “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.”
Dr Orikara, however, denied running a baby factory, saying, his Cross Foundation was legitimately registered as a charity home.
He said babies were not sold after delivery but released to go and nurse them, explaining that the charity home witnessed large number of girls because “we are running operation nurse your own baby.”
According to him, girls with unwanted pregnancy are brought to the home for them to be encouraged and assisted to carry their pregnancies to full term, deliver and nurse the babies.
But Obodoechi dismissed Orikara’s claim, insisting that confessional statement by the pregnant ladies showed that the doctor was indeed engaged in the baby factory business.
According to him, “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.”
He noted with regret that some persons had chosen to hide under the cover of non-governmental organisations, NGOs, to perpetrate various forms of illegal activities, including baby factories.
He said: “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 to ensure that they are apprehended and made to face the law.”