Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has sealed up an illegal maternity home and baby factory in Abuja where several women in search of babies were allegedly swindled.
Only few weeks ago, operatives of the Agency arrested the Chief Medical Director of the illegal outfit, Akuchi Herbal Concept, located on Old road, around Pure Water area, New Nyanya, Abuja.
The exercise, carried out by a combined team of NAPTIP operatives and the Department of State Security Service (DSS), was part of the ongoing investigation into the case which has already generated public concern among Nigerians, especially relations of the victims.
Owner of the illegal medical outfit, Mr. Chigozie John Emmanuel (A.K.A. Akuchi), a 38 years old herbalist from Enugu State, is alleged by the Agency to have swindled women into thinking they were pregnant and thereafter giving other people’s babies to them after charging and collecting huge fees from them.
A statement by Adekoye Vincent, for Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, NAPTIP, said the herbalist was arrested after weeks of diligent surveillance by a combined team of Agency and DSS officers.
His arrest, according to the statement, “was based on a previous arrest by the Nigerian Police of a woman whom they saw with a baby in Abuja en route Minna, Niger State.
“Based on their suspicion, they detained and questioned the woman on the identity of the baby she carried.
“She admitted to being a patient of Mr. Emmanuel, whom she said administered some herbs to her after years of infertility.”
The latest operation was coordinated by the Director, Investigation and Monitoring Department, Mr. Greg Esele, on the directive of the Director-General, Dame Julie Okah-Donli.
Items recovered from the facility include local herbs which the suspect said he uses to stimulate ovulation for women, some soaked black-coloured leaves and concoction used on his victims, and other smelling substances.
Some charms and voodoo items were also recovered.
It was discovered that, contrary to his claim as displayed on the signpost, the clinic was virtually empty thereby raising questions on how the women were able to believe his claims.
Speaking on the development, NAPTIP Director-General Dame Julie Okah-Donli said investigations were on going to determine the extent of crime allegedly committed by the suspect.
“Investigation is ongoing to clearly establish level of the unwholesome activities of the suspect. We are not leaving any stone unturned in getting to the roots of crime.
“This is also in line with our determination to ensure that Nigerians are not exploited in anyway,” the DG said.