THE Lagos State police command on Friday, May 26 arrested two women allegedly for attempting to sell a baby.
In a statement on Saturday, May 27, the command’s public relations officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed that one of the suspects was discovered trying to sell the two-month-old child in the Oshodi area of the state.
“The deal was uncovered in Oshodi when one Oge Okolie, aged 25, the intermediary between the mother of the baby and prospective buyer was suspected of stealing the baby.
“Passengers on a public bus noticed ceaseless crying from the baby with Okolie and questioned why she could not breastfeed it if it were her own biological child,” Hundeyin noted.
He added that a mob attempted to lynch Okolie but was stopped by the intervention of operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, who rescued her and the child.
“Preliminary investigations led to the arrest of the mother of the baby, one Maria Ahmadu ‘f,’ aged 26.
“Commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Chief Superintendent Olayinka Egbeyemi, has since transferred the suspects and baby to the Gender Unit of the Command for further investigation and prosecution,” Hundeyin stated.
Child trafficking has remained a significant challenge in Nigeria, with many young children sold into forced labour, prostitution, and other forms of exploitation.
In April, The ICIR reported that two women were arrested in Enugu state for suspected child theft and trafficking.
In the same month, a mother was arrested in Ogun state for selling her 18-month-old baby for N600,000 to pay off a loan she obtained from a microfinance bank.
The police in Rivers also arrested three women running a child trafficking syndicate within the state in April.
A 2020 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) noted that Nigeria is a major source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.
Another report estimates that 80 per cent of children forced into labour are victims of child trafficking.