By Emma Una CALABAR—MARIA Ekanem, a 20-year-old school drop out from Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, said yesterday in Calabar that poverty and lack of where to stay after she gave birth made her sell her two weeks old baby girl for N20,000.
Maria, who was arrested by the police along five
other accomplices, said her boyfriend who got her
pregnant, asked her to abort the baby but said a
doctor helped her with free antenatal care and food
until she gave birth.
This, she added, prompted her to agree to sell the
baby when arrangements were made to sell.
Paraded along with Maria were a 55-year-old
medical doctor, Okokon Offiong Okoho, the
proprietor of Evangel Clinic,of 2, Atu Street; a 70-
year-old matron of Sadatoe Maternity located at
Umoh Street and a nurse at the maternity who
allegedly made the plans to sell the girl to an Abuja-
based lady who is now on the run.
However, plans to sell the two weeks old girl was
leaked to the police by a Senior Secondary Two girl
of NYSC Demonstration Secondary School, Calabar ,
Maria Elemi, whose parents Maria was living with
after she delivered the baby.
“When I came back from school on Monday, Maria
told me she wanted to take the baby to the parents of
the boy who impregnated her since she can no longer
cope with taking care of the baby,” she said.
Maria said when they got to Fuller by Inyang Street
in Calabar South, they met Mrs Elemi and her
daughter in an SUV car, adding that Maria gave the
girl to the matron who handed her over to the buyer.
She said: “The woman gave Maria N20,000 and
asked her to pay the nurse at the Evangel Clinic and
use the rest for herself.”
The girl said she became suspicious when the driver
of the SUV told the woman with the baby that her
husband said she should take her to the airport to
catch a flight to Abuja .
“I started wondering why they should take the girl to
the airport when the boyfriend to Maria and her
parents live here in Calabar,” Maria stated.
Cross River Police Public Relations Officer, ASP
John Eluu, who paraded Maria along with the doctor
and Matron, said when information got to the police
at the Federal Housing Police Station, detectives
swung into action and arrested the suspects.
Eluu said investigations were continuing to apprehend
the buyer of the girl who is now on the run.
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