The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has arrested four persons including a Federal civil servant in connection with allegation of sales and buying of babies.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Head, Press and Public Relations Unit of the agency, Mrs Stella Nezan on Tuesday in Abuja.
Nezan gave the names of the suspects as Mrs Wilson Erurom, a Federal civil servant, Mr Marksoo Uzer, a middle age man who is also an employee of First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi, Benue, Albert Motemi and Gabriel Gav respectively.
She stated that the suspects were all arrested in Makurdi through combined efforts of operatives of NAPTIP and the Department of State Services (DSS).
The NAPTIP spokesperson stated that during interrogation of the suspects, the prospective buyers said she contacted one of the suspects after listening to an advertorial on one of the broadcast stations in Yenagoa.
Nezan said that buyer narrated that her link had boasted in the advert of assisting people to get children either through in-planting, in -vitro fertilisation or outright adoption.
According to the NAPTIP spokesperson, the prospective buyers informed her link that she preferred outright adoption of an infant and subsequently paid the sum of N500, 000 for the purpose.
She said the woman narrated that after the safe delivery of the baby in question, she was called by her link to come to Makurdi to pick the baby, but only to be told later that the surrogate mother had changed her mind
Nezan said that when the buyer was making her move to return to Bayelsa the following day, she was arrested by men of the DSS and handed over to NAPTIP.
According to the NAPTIP spokesperson, investigation revealed that Mr Marksoo Uzer was the mastermind of the illegal syndicate.
She said that Uzer had also promised an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) a baby after collecting the sum of N950, 000 and later reneged on the agreement.
Nezan said that after completion of investigation, the suspects would be arraigned before a court.
Reacting to the development, Director General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, appreciated the inter-agency collaboration existing between NAPTIP and the DSS.
She advised Nigerians to always ensure that due process was followed when confronted with issues of child adoption, promising that the case would be thoroughly investigated and charged to court. (NAN)