Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, have arrested a syndicate that specializes in buying and selling of little children in Oyo, Lagos and Akwa Ibom States.
It was gathered that six suspects, Blessing John, 27, Itoro Anthony 40, Una Ekong 58, Mforbong Itoro and Blessing Steven and her husband Israel Ariyo, were arrested by operatives of the IRT, after a four-year-old boy, was stolen by a member of the syndicate, Blessing John, in July 2019, at Ikota area of Lagos State and was taken to Akwa Ibom State, where he was meant to be sold for N350,000.
It was gathered that the stolen child, Ojo Ifapounda, wailed uncontrollably when he was taken to the leader of the syndicate, Mforbong Itoro, who organizes the syndicate’s sales of little children to its buyers, from her base in Akwa Ibom State and was brought back to Ojota area of Lagos State, abandoned in a church before he reunited with his family.
It was learned that Ifapounda’s parent wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, alerting him about their child’s disappearance and the IGP detailed his operatives at the IRT, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, in Lagos State, to investigate and have the child re an hunt for Blessing John, who was seen last with the child.
Sources disclosed that that Blessing John was trailed to the home of her friend, Blessing Steven in Ibadan Oyo State, where she was arrested alongside her friend and her husband and during interrogation, it was discovered that her friend, Blessing Steven and her husband Israel Ariyo, had sold two of their children to the syndicate in Akawa Ibom State.
Saturday Vanguard learned that Blessing Steven sold her second child, a five-day-old baby to Mforbong Itoro, in 2015, for the sum of N100,000 and she sold her last child in May 2019 as well, to Itoro for the sum of N250,000.
She eventually ran into trouble in July 2019 after Itoro demanded to buy another child from her. Steven told Saturday Vanguard during an interview that when Itoro made the third demand, she called her friend, John and informed her about the business of selling children since she couldn’t conceive and deliver a child at that time, she needed John to help her steal a child. She said that adventure was what got her into trouble.