A 23-year-old native of Umuimam in Oshiri Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nzube Robert Chukwu, has revealed that she started stealing babies and selling them after her own two male children were stolen.
The single mother said she normally got a share of N40,000.00 from each of the proceeds of any baby she stole, adding that her duty was to steal the babies while a bus driver identified as Ofunwa sold them.
She said: “I joined a child stealing business after losing my two children in 2021. As a single mother, I was looking forward to getting married. So, in 2021, a man saw me and started wooing me for marriage, not knowing that his interest was to steal my babies.
“When my children disappeared, he stopped visiting and packed out of his known residence. Shortly after, a man popularly called Ofunwa, living at Chukwu Street, Abakaliki, met me when I was a sales girl at Margaret Umahi International Market Abakaliki and introduced me to the business of child stealing.
“When I get the babies, I hand them over to Ofunwa for him to sell and after the transaction; he gives me N40,000 from the proceeds. I don’t know where he sold them and how much he made. The last N40,000 he gave me, I used it to buy clothes and body cream,” she narrated.
Nzube was last week convicted by an Ebonyi State Magistrate’s Court for involvement in the child theft business in Abakaliki.
The convict said she ran out of luck when the baby she stole last from her friend started crying uncontrollably, a situation that drew the attention of neighbours before she was arrested.
She said: “I was caught as the baby was crying uncontrollably at the Convent Road axis of Abakaliki on my way to my house. The girl I stole her baby from is my friend, Ifeoma, who lives at Onichaegu Street, Mgboagbaja towards Hill Top.
“She is a single mother of four. She leaves her babies in my custody whenever she goes for a night job. I warned her to take better care of her children but she ignored my advice. The day I stole the baby, she was not around while the children were sleeping; their door was wide open.
“I planned to take the baby to my house and take her to Ofunwa, a bus driver who plies Abakaliki-Enugu-Onicha, the next day. But the cry of the baby was too much as it attracted people’s attention and they started beating and questioning me; from there, I was taken to a police officer, CSP Onuebonyi.”
She pleaded guilty during her arraignment before Chief Magistrate Lynda Ogodo, on October 16, 2023, and was sentenced to 36 calendar months imprisonment.
Ogodo warned the convict to desist from evil acts and explained that the offence of child stealing attracts 10 years imprisonment but it was reduced to three years because Nzube saved the court’s time by pleading guilty upon arraignment.