Thirty nine-year-old Angela Chidozie, who was arrested last week Friday by men of the Ogun State Police Command at a house she allegedly used as a ‘baby factory’ in Akute area of the state, is currently cooling off at the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the command.
She was arrested with eight young girls who are in different stages of pregnancy.
The fair-complexioned lady told Saturday PUNCH that money was not the aim of operating the business.
Chidozie insisted that she was sure none of her patrons bought the babies for ritual purposes.
Asked how she was sure of that, she said, “I study those who come to buy babies from me. When I am sure that they actually want to buy because they are looking for the fruits of the womb, I sell the babies to them.
“It is my job now. I know how to test the women to see if they actually cannot have children. When I see people who come to me for children, I know if they want the babies for ritual purposes or not. I ensure the women come with their husbands. I don’t sell children to them if they don’t come with their spouses.
“It is not about the money. My concern is just to help the young girls and to help those who want children. This is why I pray on the babies before I hand them over to the buyers. I make sure the babies are okay.”
Saturday PUNCH asked how she ensured that the babies were okay as she claimed after she had sold them off, Chidozie said, “I just know. Some buyers come back to thank me and even buy cartons of soft drinks for me in appreciation.”
Chidozie said she gave the girls in her ‘baby factory’ ante-natal care in the house where she kept them.
She explained that she had a dedicated nurse who took care of the pregnant girls.
“One day, I met a woman who wore a nurse uniform, I approached her and asked if she could treat my sister. She followed me home and I introduced her to the girls. She later agreed to come and treat them anytime necessary.
“She gave the girls injection anytime they needed treatment. She also supplied their medicines.
“When the girls were due, the nurse delivered them of the babies in my house but when she was not around and a girl was in labour, I would deliver the girl of the baby myself. I can do it because I am a herbal doctor; so I know how to deliver women of babies. I have only personally delivered three girls of their babies.”
Chidozie insisted that she did not force any of the girls into the business. She said they came to her because they did not want their babies.
She claimed she screened the girls before accepting them, adding that she rejected anyone that did not provide satisfactory answers to her questions.
“I asked them where their parents were and who impregnated them. If the girls didn’t give me any good response, I sent them back to where they came from. Even last week I still sent three of them away.”
Asked if she actually asked any of the eight girls who impregnated them, Chidozie struck a thoughtful pose and said, “I can’t remember.”
“But in the past, I have called the boyfriends of pregnant girls in my custody to confirm that they want their babies sold,” she said.
Chidozie became evasive when asked the highest amount she had ever sold a baby.
“I don’t collect much; you know fingers are not equal. Some come to my house begging that they don’t have much. I collect N200,000 from some, even N150,000 from some others. I don’t really know where those who approach me for babies come from.”
Saturday PUNCH asked why she did not direct the girls to proper orphanages if she was not doing it for the money, she said “I don’t know why they prefer me.”
She had told the police upon her arrest that she gave the pregnant girls between N70,000 and N80,000 after their babies were sold off at the rate of N300,000.
Chidozie said her husband knew she was involved in the business in the past but had warned her to stop the business.
The eight girls rescued from Chidozie’s ‘baby factory’ are also in the custody of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit.
Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, said the AHTCLU had started getting in touch with the families of the girls.
He said, “This is not a careless police command. The girls will help us in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Efforts are ongoing to link the girls with their families. At the moment, we have been able to contact three of the families.
“Investigation has been widened in this case to include potential baby buyers and past buyers who have patronised the woman (Chidozie).”
He said the baby factory was discovered as a result of the persistence of a resident of the area who gave a tip-off on the activities in the house.
The police spokesperson urged the public to give information to the police without fear.
He said, “The man who gave the tip-off actually reported twice. The first time, the police went there and saw nothing. The man reported again and it was discovered that the woman (Chidozie) hid the girls in the wardrobe. One of them actually fainted as a result of that and had to be taken to the hospital.
“We are living in the past. That is why people think that when they give information to the police, it may bounce back on them.
“But members of the public should know who to give information to. They should Approach an officer who heads a formation on any information because such officers can distinguish between rumours and intelligence.”