The Rivers State Police Command has arrested a couple and five others for selling a day-old baby for N600,000.
The Guardian gathered that the incident happened last weekend in Igwurita community of Ikwere Local Government Area of the state.
The suspects include the 22-year-old mother, Rejoice Ugochukwu; the father, Success Ugochukwu; owner of the baby factory, Florence Jonah; a doctor, nurse and one other person.
The couple told newsmen at the state police headquarters where they were paraded yesterday that they had no money to pay the hospital bill and as a result, the doctor and owner of the clinic threatened that they would not give the mother of the baby medical care despite bleeding.
According to the couple, it was at the point of death they succumbed to the suggestion by the medical workers at the clinic that the baby should be sold to raise money to treat her mother and also cater for their welfare.
Rejoice said: “I was bleeding to the point of death, but they refused to treat me, saying if I didn’t bring money, they won’t touch me. My husband was frustrated and begged them to save my life. So, later, they started treating me not knowing that my baby had been sold.”
The husband, Ugochukwu said: “I took my wife to the hospital and things were rough when she delivered. They said the baby is not feeling fine. The nurse said we will pay her N350,000, but we didn’t have such money. The owner of the hospital said they would help me get someone that will buy the baby to enable me pay them. So, I told them to sell the baby so they can treat my wife.”
But the owner of the hospital, Mrs Jonah, dismissed the allegation, saying the couple had decided to sell their baby even before the child was born due to hardship and she advised them against the act.
She said: “I was in my hospital, Ugochukwu and his wife came and said they do not have money to feed and bail their baby. The wife said she wants to sell the baby, so later somebody who wanted to buy the baby transferred N600,000 to a nurse’s account before the police came and arrested us.”
Meanwhile, the police spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, said the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, has vowed to deal with all manner of crimes and criminality in the state, including baby trading. He said efforts are on to arrest the buyer.