Not less than 25 children have been rescued by officials of the Lagos State Government from an alleged child trafficker at Egbeda area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The suspect, Mrs Rosemary Nwachukwu was arrested and detained at the Alausa Police Station, while the children have been taken into custody by the Lagos State Government.
Nwachukwu allegedly operate an illegal orphanage by the name; Saint Stephen Charity Foundation, a home for orphans and less privileged located at Number 30/32 Abiodun Adebanbo Street, Egbeda. Government officials from the Ministry of Youth and Social Department led by the Director, Child Development, Mrs Alaba Fadairo and officers from the Office of Public Defender, OPD, backed up by policemen stormed the illegal orphanage at the weekend.
The age of the children ranged between three months and 12 years. They are made up of three infant, age 3-6 months and 22 other children recued and taken to government’s welfare institution for proper care.
Director, OPD, Mrs Omotola Rotimi said the offender kept 27 children kept in a room, using them to raise money and allegedly defraud innocent members of the public who might need assistance in child adoption, adding that 25 children were rescued while the whereabouts of the remaining two was unknown.
Fadairo said the illegal business takes place in a room in the residential building, saying that upon investigation, it was discovered Nwachkwu had been engaging in various anti-child development activities, such as illegal adoption, trafficking and others which she said, was done with selfish reasons.
“Investigation also shows that there are no records on each of the children and no evidence of how the children got to her and no form of police or security report,’ she explained and warned members of the public to be vigilant and report such cases of child trafficking to the media or the government in order not to fall into the hands of similar organizations.
She stated people and organizations that operated unapproved or illegal orphanages would be arrested and prosecuted according to the dictates of the law. She said the suspect has been running the illegal orphanage home for the past 18 years.