Child Trafficking: How Police Rescue 9 Children From Abductors, Witness Tells Court

An Investigating Police Officer (IPO), ASP Desmond Apella, has testified against two suspects before a Federal Capital Territory High Court, presided over by Justice Peter Kekemeke in a child trafficking case.

Apoela, a third prosecution witness in the case
said the suspects; Ifeoma Abonyi, 32, and Emmanuel Onyekwere, 32 had ealier been charged with conspiracy and child trafficking by the police

He said the offence committed by the suspects contravened sections 30(3), 97, and 273 of the penal code.

Apella informed the court that he was part of the team that investigated the matter. In November 2019, a petitioner, Thomas Olobo, reported the disappearance of his 17-month-old child to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

During the investigation, the complainant revealed that the defendants, posing as a couple and the complainant’s neighbour, had taken the baby to the market but never returned.

The witness stated that the police traced the defendants to Ibusa, Delta, where they were arrested.

Further investigation uncovered a child trafficking syndicate operated by the defendants. They had sold one baby to an individual in Aba, and six other children were rescued during the follow-up.

Abonyi reportedly absconded, leaving the second defendant to face the charges alone. The second defendant did not have legal representation, and Justice Kekemeke promised to contact the Legal Aid Council and other lawyers for pro bono representation.

The case was adjourned until March 19 for the cross-examination of PW3 and the possible continuation of the trial.

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