Two top government employees from the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs have been arrested for allegedly snatching and selling a baby from a mentally ill lady in the state.
The suspects, Sarumi Adeyemi, a Director in the ministry, and Florence Bosede Orisamehin, a senior officer in the same ministry, were accused of selling the baby for N1 million to one Toyin Olabiwonninu after she qualified for adoption.
The infant was given over to the two government officials by MM Catholic Hospital in Ondo town after the baby’s mother, Deborah Iretioluwa Olorundare, a homeless and mentally challenged lady, was carried to the hospital by good Samaritans after giving birth on the street.
The kid’s mother, who was transferred to a psychiatric facility in Akure, the state capital, raised the alarm when she insisted on having given birth to a girl child rather than the male child presented to her by the suspects four months after delivery.
Following the pressure from Olorundare’s family as well as the suspicion by the officials of the Ondo State Psychiatric Hospital over the failure of the suspects to bring the child to the hospital for the purpose of bonding with her mother, the Department of State Services (DSS) launched an investigation after which it was discovered that a ‘child trafficking syndicate’ exists at the ministry.
A medical practitioner in the psychiatric hospital, Akinnuoye Akinwumi hinted that during the four months that the patient spent in their facility, the staff of the ministry refused to bring the baby despite pressure and frequent calls.
“On discharge, the doctor had sent a social worker to go with the patient to the ministry in order to witness the handing over of the baby.
“Surprisingly, the officers of the ministry took them to a private orphanage along Ondo road where an imbecile male baby was given to the patient but this baby was rejected by the patient because she insisted that she delivered a baby girl,” he said.
Sources, however, disclosed that Olabiwonninu had fled the shores of Nigeria with the baby and showed no signs of returning anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the suspects are billed to appear in court on November 11, 2021, on charges bothering on conspiracy and child theft.