Two Abuja residents face 5 years in prison for separating their 4-day-old baby from their mother – The Whistler Newspaper
The Federal Capital Territory High Court on Wednesday convicted two Abuja residents, Felix Oladele(39) and Esther Onyeabor(50) of conspiring with each other to obtain possession of a 4-day-old baby from Hanatu Sunday(22 ) and financially exploiting the child. mother too.
Judgment was delivered on Wednesday by Judge Y. Halilu.
The defendants were indicted on August 28, 2021 on three counts bordering on trafficking by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Outlining the case, NAPTIP told the court that Hannatu (from Gombe State) was in a relationship with her boyfriend Joshua Lazarus which resulted in a pregnancy and she called him on about the need to return to Abuja due to the difficulty she faced due to the demands of the pregnancy.
The prosecution said that Lazarus took Hannatu to Oladele begging him to help the situation and that the first defendant collected (in the first instance) 20,000 Naira promising to help the lady.
“The 1st defendant during this period kept Hannatu Sunday with another woman whom he claimed to be his sister. After a while, the first defendant called to inform Lazarus that Hannatu will not be able to give birth naturally but by an operation of ‘worth 120,000 naira,’ the prosecution had said.
The prosecution also said in court records obtained by our correspondent that Oladele, without informing Lazare, claimed the baby was bleeding and kept the newborn in the care of another woman in Enugu.
“After a while, Oladele told Lazare that the baby was dead. Lazare found it hard to believe that his baby was dead. He informed Hanattu of the development. He asked Oladele to take him and the mother to their baby so they could take custody of the corpse, but Oladele kept coming up with different excuses,” he added.
The victims reported to NAPTIP and the agency probed the situation and followed the baby with Esther, alive; and subsequently they were charged but they pleaded not guilty but did not provide sufficient evidence to counter the charges.
After the court convicted the defendants, their lawyer asked the judge for leniency saying that the second defendant (Esther) is a widow with tender children as well as a church leader, while Oladele is a young man. who has an elderly mother. take care of like a bread winner.
But the judge ruled that the actions of the convicts amounted to modern slavery and crimes against humanity.
Delivering judgment on Wednesday, Judge Halilu sentenced the duo to 5 years and 2 million naira on each count, adding that it will run concurrently meaning 5 years and 2 million naira (no fine option).
“Human life is precious, but through many selfish pursuits, the birth of children has been forgotten by human beings.
“There is no greater inhumanity in the world than putting down a newborn baby.
“In this situation, a child born is taken from its mother and given to another woman in the remote state of Enugu.
“This is a warning to the baby factories, the second convict prides herself on being a woman of God,” Halilu said as he ordered them to serve their sentence at Kuje Correctional Center.