Nine months after her baby was sold by those who allegedly trafficked her, a 22-year old lady, Eunice Paul, has pleaded with a Federal High Court, Lagos to assist her in recovering her baby.
Eunice, a Secondary School Certificate holder, made the request before the court while being led-in-evidence by Mr. S. A. Langyi, from National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), in a criminal case against four accused persons, who are facing trial over allegation of trafficking in persons.
The accused persons: a 48 year-old, Tina Anyanwu, also called ‘Aunty Tina’, her husband, Charles Chigozie Anyanwu, 51, one of their relatives, Chiamaka Sylvia Anyawu, 24, and one Remigus Mbegbu, 51, were first arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba, by NAPTIP, sometimes last year, on a four count-charge bordering on conspiracy, trafficking in persons, selling of newly born baby, buying of newly born baby.
In the charge marked FHC/L/61c/17, NAPTIP, alleged that the accused persons, apart from selling out Eunice’s newly born baby, also sold a newly born baby, of one Ukachi Ukamaka Cynthia, whom they lured into prostitution, under the pretence of running a Non-government-Organisation (NGO)
The offences according to the NAPTIP are contrary to sections 27(a) and 21of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
At the resumed trial, the 22 years old trafficked victim narrated to the court what transpired between her and the accused persons.
Asked by the prosecutor what she wanted the court to do for her, she said: “I want the court to help me recover my baby”.
The matter has been adjourned till February 1, for continuation of trial of the accused persons.
In the charge, the three Anyanwus, were alleged to have sometimes in the month of April, 2016, at Yahaya Street, Fagbile-Isheri, Lagos, conspired among themselves to sell the child of Eunice Esther Paul.
They were also alleged to have conspired with Alice Nwoke Ogechi, sometimes in the month of May 2016, to sell a child of one Ukachi Ukamaka Cynthia, to Remigus Mbegbu.
While Remigus Mbegbu was alleged to have bought the two children from Anyanwus and Ogechi, on the same month.
The victim told the court how ‘Aunty Tina’ handed over N200, 000, to her, after selling new born baby, and when she asked what was the money for? Aunty Tina told her that it was from the NGO.
Eunice also told the court that from the N200, 000, given to her, she gave N55, 000, to Aunty Tina, which she said was for her hospital bill, and the sum of N5, 000, and N20, 000, to Aunty Tina’s daughter and husband respectively.
Apart from that, she had also informed the court that aunty Tina told her to refill the gas which she used to boil water for her bathing, and gave her an order that she should leave their house after three weeks the baby was born and sold.
She however stated that it was not up to a week after aunty Tina gave her the matching order, that officials of NAPTIP came to arrest her and the Anyanwus. Adding that before getting to NAPTIP office, Tina’s husband had told her to lie that the baby had died, and she compiled, but when they went to the hospital where she delivered, workers at the hospital told the Agency that the baby was handed over to them alive, it was then she told the Agency the whole truth.