The issue of baby factories came up in Oyo State on Wednesday, April 20, when the Oyo State Police Command disclosed that it has arrested a 60-year-old woman, Ms Asabi Adebayo with five children whom she claimed to have given birth to in a fertility clinic, after paying N1million for each. She claimed that the five children were born from two pregnancies as twins and triplets and were aged between two and one.
But the Commissioner of Police in the state, Leye Oyebade, said she was suspected to be part of a baby sale syndicate who sell children to people residing abroad.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on how the woman was apprehended, Oyebade said that Iyaganku Division of the command received a report from the proprietress of an orphanage in Ibadan on April 14, 2016, that the 60-year-old Ms Adebayo requested her to assist in getting a police report to fly her five children abroad.
“I directed the officer in charge of the Juvenile Welfare Centre of the Division to arrest her. When she got to the station, she told the police that she got the children for N1million each. She confessed that she got the children from a woman in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, but when the police from Oyo State command got there, the woman, who probably got a hint that the police were after her, could not be seen.
“We are trying to find out how the person who sold the babies came about them. Before we can get the details of the children, we have to get the person who sold them because she is the one that can give account of how she came about them. While at that, we have been able to identify that these are children that have been sold and for us to trace their origin, it will take some time. Investigation is still ongoing,” the police commissioner stated.
He promised that his command was going to work towards getting those involved. “We have set our dragnet and we have our information. Apparently, the person has gone into hiding but he or she will be fished out,” Oyebade added.
Ms Adebayo, who was visibly disturbed about her arrest, narrated to the Nigerian Tribune how she got the children that led to her arrest.
According to her, “I had been looking for fruits of the womb for many years until I reached menopause. Over two years ago, someone introduced me to a woman at Ikorodu, Lagos State, who could facilitate pregnancy through herbal concoction, so I and other women went there and were given the concoction.”
She also revealed that at the time she came in contact with the woman for fertility treatment, she had stopped menstruating, “but we were given concoction to menstruate just once. After that, I had sex with my partner. I am not married.
“We took the concoctions for nine to 10 months before we delivered. For delivery, we were taken to Port Harcourt. I delivered twins from the first pregnancy over two years ago. I got pregnant the second time and had triplets about a year ago. I paid N1million for the treatment on each of the children. In total, I paid N5million. I breast-fed my children for three months before weaning them as babies. ”
When asked why she had to pay N1million on each child since multiple births could come from any pregnancy, Ms Adebayo replied that the woman who gave her treatment told her ahead of delivery that she would pay according to the number of babies from each delivery. She insisted that she did not buy the babies, contrary to her initial statement at the police station in which she was reported to have confessed paying N5million to get the five children.
She said that she took the police to the place where she delivered the babies in Port Harcourt but the operators of the fertility clinic, a couple, were nowhere to be found.
Responding to questions in a quivering voice, Ms Adebayo, who claimed to be a British citizen, said: “I had been warned not to have children while I was abroad because of my health, so I had made up my mind to put them up for adoption so as to be free.”
On how she found herself in Ibadan though residing in Lagos State, she said: “I came because the owner of an orphanage I approached said that if I wanted to get the children adopted, I would need to get a police report to take them out of Nigeria.”
On the story that she wanted to do business with the children buy buying them and putting them up for adoption abroad so as to make some money, Ms Adebayo replied: “For business? They are my children; how can I use them for business? I want to take them abroad so that they could enjoy the benefits I have overseas.”
Revealing the operations of the ‘fertility clinic’, Adebayo stated: “These people using concoction had many clients. We were over 1,000 and would queue to be attended to at Ikorodu. Wherever they were, we would go and queue. They gave us concoction and tested us, telling us we were pregnant. I didn’t go for scanning because we were told it was not necessary.
“I want the couple to be apprehended. (Burst into tears). I know them as Mr and Mrs Okoro. We were many that fell into this deceit. My stomach was big like that of a pregnant woman and I had normal delivery. They would make us lie down, give us concoction, make a cut in the opening of the birth canal and would be pressing our stomachs. When asked whether she was sure that the children’s DNA would match hers, she replied: “I don’t know, I don’t know. The couple should tell the whole world how they were doing it.”
The woman disclosed further she was battling with some diseases, which the Nigerian Tribune learnt were related to cancer and high blood pressure. On why she went ahead to have the children when she knew it was a health risk and she would still give them up for adoption, Ms Adebayo tearfully replied: “I adopted children in the past, though not officially, but they all left me later, saying that I was not their biological mother.”
Source: Nigerian Tribune