Woman and her lover sell their baby to buy hard drugs

The Edo State Taskforce against Human Trafficking has apprehended a 48-year-old man, Anthony Igbinogun, and his girlfriend, Joy Umukoro, 28, for allegedly selling their two-month-old baby to fund their drug addiction.

The suspects were arrested with their friend, 26-year-old Precious James, who linked them up to the baby’s buyer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Briefing journalists in Benin City, the Head of the Investigative Unit of the Edo State Taskforce against Human Trafficking, Abigail Ihonre, said the baby was sold for N1.7m, adding that investigation was ongoing to rescue the child and apprehend the buyer.

Ihonre said, “Our investigations revealed that Joy Umukoro, the mother of the baby, delivered the baby in April 2023, and conspired with her boyfriend to sell their baby for N1.7m. She has confessed to the crime.

“Investigation into the case continues as we intensify efforts to locate the buyer and the baby as the matter will be charged to court latest on Monday, June 26, 2023, so that everyone culpable is made to face the wrath of the law for their criminal activities.

“The suspects said they carried out the dastardly act because they couldn’t take care of the baby. These people are alleged drug addicts and when it was clear that they couldn’t take care of the baby, they decided to sell him.

“The penalty for trafficking is about seven years in prison. I urge those that can’t take care of their babies not to sell them but bring such to the office of the Edo State Taskforce against Human Trafficking as we collaborate with the Ministry of Gender and Women Affairs or take the baby to other agencies that take care of children. Selling that child is not a good option as the outcome may end you in prison.”

The baby’s mother, Umukoro, said they sold him to a willing buyer for N700,000, adding that N500,000 was paid cash; N170,000 was given to the agent that took her to the buyer, while the rest of the money was used for drugs.

She said, “After giving birth to the baby, life became very difficult and I approached my friend to help me with a buyer and she gave me the link. I travelled to Port Harcourt with another woman and sold the baby for N700,000. The drugs I take are the cause. I also sent some money to my other two children for upkeep and some others for my father’s burial.”

On his part, Igbinogun, said, “We stayed together and gave birth to the baby; the mother said she could not take care of the baby. She told me that her friend, Precious James, had found a buyer and she travelled to Rivers State to sell the baby and when she returned, she gave me N100,000.”

James, who facilitated the illegal deal, said they were all drug addicts and couldn’t take care of the child.

“My friend told me she sold the baby for N700,000 and when she came back, she bought drugs for me from the money,” she added.

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