As the effort to stop child trafficking continued, police in Anambra State have arrested a woman, Mrs Nkechi Odinye, aged 55, who specializes in buying children suspected to have been stolen from across the country.
The woman was said to have been arrested on Monday by men of the state police command’s Special Anti-Cult Section, SPACS, who stormed her hideout at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The state police command’s spokesperson, SP Haruna Mohammed who confirmed the arrest said the command’s action came after a thorough intelligence gathering by its men.
He said, “It would be recalled that on the 22/10/2019 following intelligence report, Police detectives attached to Anambra State Command arrested three female suspects at Nkpor market/Tarzan junction in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State.
“Investigation revealed that the children were stolen from Gombe State by one Hauwa Musa ‘f” on 20/10/2019 and brought to her accomplices in Anambra State. Following the public announcement by the Command on the 27/10/2019, parents of the two kids from Gombe State came to Awka and identified their children.
“Meanwhile, the children have since reunited with their parents and suspects were handed over to Gombe State Police Command for further investigation and prosecution.
“Consequent upon interrogation the suspects voluntarily confessed that they usually steal the children and bring to their sponsor one Mrs Nkechi Odinye who buys the children here in Anambra State at the rate of between two hundred and four hundred thousand (#200-400,000) naira depending on their age and gender.
“However, on the 31/8/2020, following the confession and while acting on a tip-off, Police detectives attached to 3-3 Division Onitsha in Collaboration with Operatives attached to the Command Special Anti-Cult Section(SPACS) stormed the hideout of the principal suspect one Nkechi Odinye ‘f’ aged 55 years and effected her arrest at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.”
He said the Suspect who evaded arrest then has remained on the run and has also been changing locations until her arrest on Monday.
He added that “The team equally rescued twelve children of various age brackets, comprising eight boys and four girls reasonably suspected to have been stolen from different parts of the Country under her custody. The children are presently under protective care and investigation is still ongoing.”
Haruna said the Commissioner of Police, CP John Abang has called on parents and guardians whose children were either stolen or missing to report at 3-3 Police Station Onitsha for proper identification and claim of their children.