I started stealing babies after my own children too were stolen, Woman confesses

I started stealing babies after my own children too were stolen, Woman confesses

A23-year-old woman, Nzube Robert Chukwu, has revealed how she started stealing babies and selling them after her own two male children were stolen.

The single mother was last week convicted by an Ebonyi State Magistrate’s Court for involvement in the child theft business in Abakaliki.

She revealed that she got a share of N40,000.00 from each of the proceeds of any baby she stole.

Nzube explained that her duty was to steal the babies while a bus driver identified as Ofunwa sold them.

She revealed that the last N40,000 shares she got on the illicit sale of a baby was spent on the purchase of clothes and body cream.

The convict fingered her suitor in the disappearance of her two children, a situation that paved the way for her to join the illegal child stealing business.

She said: “I joined a child stealing business after losing my two children in 2021. As a single mother, I was looking forward to getting married. So, in 2021, a man saw me and started wooing me for marriage, not knowing that his interest was to steal my babies.

“When my children disappeared, he stopped visiting and packed out of his known residence. Shortly after, a man popularly called Ofunwa, living at Chukwu Street, Abakaliki, met me when I was a sales girl at Margaret Umahi International Market Abakaliki and introduced me to the business of child stealing.

“When I get the babies, I hand them over to Ofunwa for him to sell and after the transaction; he gives me N40,000 from the proceeds. I don’t know where he sold them and how much he made. The last N40,000 he gave me, I used it to buy clothes and body cream,” she narrated.

Nzube, a native of Umuimam in Oshiri Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, explained that luck ran out on her when the last baby she stole from her friend started crying uncontrollably, a situation that drew the attention of neighbours before she was arrested.

She said: “I was caught as the baby was crying uncontrollably at the Convent Road axis of Abakaliki on my way to my house. The girl I stole her baby from is my friend, Ifeoma, who lives at Onichaegu Street, Mgboagbaja towards Hill Top.

“She is a single mother of four. She leaves her babies in my custody whenever she goes for a night job. I warned her to take better care of her children but she ignored my advice. The day I stole the baby, she was not around while the children were sleeping; their door was wide open.

“I planned to take the baby to my house and take her to Ofunwa, a bus driver who plies Abakaliki-Enugu-Onicha, the next day. But the cry of the baby was too much as it attracted people’s attention and they started beating and questioning me; from there, I was taken to a police officer, CSP Onuebonyi.”

After the completion of the investigation, the police arraigned Nzube at a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Abakaliki.

The charge sheet read: “That you Nzube Robert Chukwu, aged 23 and others now at large on the 29th day of August 2023 at Mgbo-Agbaja in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit child stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516A (a) of the criminal code cap 33 volume 1 laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009.

“You unlawfully made away with a four-month-old baby girl without the consent of her parents and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 33 of Ebonyi State Child Rights Act and Related Offences law 2010.”

Sequel to her guilty plea and recovery of the stolen baby, Chief Magistrate Lynda Ogodo, on October 16, 2023, sentenced Nzube to 36 calendar months imprisonment.

Ogodo warned the convict to desist from evil acts and explained that the offence of child stealing attracts 10 years imprisonment but it was reduced to three years because Nzube saved the court’s time by pleading guilty upon arraignment.

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