Lagos Police Command said on Sunday that it rescued 19 pregnant girls from a ‘baby factory’ at Ayanwale area of Ikotun, Lagos State.
According to a statement by Bala Elkana, the Lagos police spokesperson, the rescue was made on September 19 and girls between 15 and 28 years old were discovered to be pregnant.
Two suspects behind the factory were arrested, while girls were taken into custody.
According to Elkana, detectives from Isheri-Osun Police Station led by the Divisional Police Officer, Chike Ibe, acted on information from a reliable source which led to the arrest of the suspects.
“The pregnant women were brought from Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and Imo states.”
The young women were said to have been abducted by the suspects for the purpose of raping them, getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers.
The girls were reportedly told they would be employed as domestic staff in Lagos before they were held hostage.
“Two suspects namely Happiness Ukwuoma ‘f’ 40 years old and Sherifat Ipeya ‘f’ 54 years old were arrested in connection with the case. The suspects did not receive formal medical training but operate as nurses,” the police said.
The principal suspect, who was identified as Madam Oluchi, is at large as the police are making efforts to apprehend her. She is from Mbano, Imo State, and a mother of five children, the police said.
The police said the arrested suspects are natives of Imo and Lagos states respectively.
“The babies are sold between N300,000 and N500,000 depending on the sex. Boys are sold for N500,000 and girls for N300,000.”
In addition to the rescued pregnant girls, the police said they rescued four kids. The kids were recovered from four different locations in connection to the case.
“Zubairu Muazu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police has directed the State Criminal Investigation Department to take over the case.
“The command is working with other agencies and stakeholders in rehabilitating and resettling the pregnant girls and the babies,” Elkana added.
The suspects will be charged after investigation is completed, the police said.