Baby ‘merchant’ arrested in Umuguma * Wife escapes * Umuguma women protest * Police promise speedy investigation

By Gid  Ahanonu

The women of Umuguma in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, at the weekend, rose in unison against what they perceived as a heartless child trafficking going on in the community.
And the protest has led to the arrest of a man (names withheld) who was accused of perpetrating the act by the women.
Police sources said that the man had been taken into custody while a four-year-old boy found in his house is also in police custody.
The women had stormed the police station in black attires, carrying placards, some reading “kidnapping must stop in this place”, child trafficking is banned” “child traffickers should pack out of this place”, among others.
Addressing the women, the DPO in charge of the area advised them against taking laws into their hands, assuring them of adequate investigation and subsequent prosecution of the case.
The man was said to have denied knowledge of the stray child, saying that his wife, who is at present at large, was the one who brought the child to the house.
The man was said to be a civil servant who claimed to have hailed from a neighbouring village but resident in Umuguma.
A spokes person of the women accused the man of keeping pregnant girls in his house and disposing of their babies as soon  as they are born.
They said that the man and his wife would traffic on the babies so acquired.
According to them, in 2013, the man had written an undertaking never to indulge in the act when he was taken to a customary court at Ihiagwa.
On that condition, the women said, he was allowed to remain in Umuguma.
Meanwhile, police are investigating the case and are holding the man until they make contacts with his wife who is allegedly on the run.

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