An Abuja-based herbalist, 38-year-old Emmanuel Chigozie, has been arrested in the Nyanya area of the Federal Capital Territory for allegedly selling a baby to a female client for N650,000.
PUNCH Metro learned that Chigozie, also known as Akuchi, was arrested by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the Department of State Services on Saturday after weeks of surveillance.
According to NAPTIP, the herbalist, who hails from Enugu State, allegedly administered concoctions to his female clients who were seeking to become pregnant and thereafter offered to sell other people’s babies to them.
Chigozie was said to be the owner of Akuchi Herbal Concept at New Nyanya, Abuja.
Our correspondent gathered that a woman, who was Chigozie’s client and paid him N650,000 for a baby, was arrested by the police at a checkpoint between Abuja and Minna, Niger State, some weeks ago.
The woman, whose name could not be ascertained, was reportedly found with the baby, who was suspected to be unrelated to her.
Based on the police’s suspicion, the woman was detained and she reportedly confessed that Chigozie sold the baby to her.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the woman confessed to being Chigozie’s patient and claimed that the herbalist administered some herbs to her after years of infertility.
It was gathered that Chigozie allegedly directed the woman to meet a syndicate in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the baby was handed over to her.
The NAPTIP Head, Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole, confirmed the incident.
He said, “He warned the woman not to go to any hospital and directed her to Port Harcourt where a baby was handed over to her. She confessed to paying the suspect the sum of N650,000 for his services.
“He has been arrested and he is being investigated for sale of human beings and child trafficking. The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, has warned women to stop patronizing such herbalists as the sale of babies is a crime punishable by law.
“We advise couples who wish to adopt a child to go through the legal means as anything short of this is legally and morally wrong. Some of these babies were abducted from their biological parents and sold off against their wish.”