Medical Doctor arrested by Police allegedly for Child trafficking

Medical Doctor arrested by Police allegedly for Child trafficking

A medical doctor identified as Dr. Happiness Enyinnaya Iheukwumere, has been arrested by men of the Rivers State Police Command for allegedly trafficking four children to different parts of the country.

Parading the suspect yesterday, the state Commissioner of Police, Emeka Nwonyi, said a case of abduction was reported to operatives of the command on September 9 by a 35-year-old mother, Ijeoma James, in Awalama Rumuokoro, Obio/Akpor Local Council of the state.

Nwonyi stated that the abduction happened on August 18, saying James reported that on that day, one man known as Promise came into their compound and stole her four-year-old son, Prosper James, and all efforts to locate her child proved abortive.

He explained that following the report, detectives from the Special Area Division swung into action using intelligence-led policing, which led to the arrest of one Ifesinachi Opara. He said the arrest of Opara led to the arrest of Dr. Hagi, to whom he sold the child.

He disclosed that further investigation led to the recovery of three more children trafficked by Hagi from different locations in the country. Nwonyi said his men rescued three children abducted in Benue State from different locations in Port Harcourt where they had been sold. They include a one year, seven months old child known as Benedict Kpaaka; four-year-old Godgift Julius and a six-year-old female simply identified as Philomina.

The CP, however, noted that further investigation revealed that one 25-year-old Angel Shimeson, female, still at large, was the supplier of the children to Hagi, adding that efforts were being intensified to arrest the suspect.

Speaking with journalists after being paraded by the police, the doctor confessed to the crime, saying he was into the trade to assist couples, mostly his patients, who are unable to bear children.

He claimed that he did it for the first time, adding that the deals were not done for ritual purposes. He said: “Actually, there have been some families that have been coming to me for medical treatment and their cases have proved that they cannot have children. So, in a situation like this, they asked if there is any child that they can adopt to have as their own.

“When information came from the police, I had to call them to bring back the children and these people have been taking care of the children. But if it was for evil intentions they would not have returned them. I involved myself in it because I know the family. This is my first time. Yes, I am a practising medical doctor and I am a member of the NMA.

“Why I did not follow the legitimate process was because I was looking at the process of registering and getting all the papers; it may take a longer time and the pressure these people were giving me was much. So, that is why. I am not denying it. I did it; I own it and I will also face whatever consequences. But I am pleading with the government to temper justice with mercy.” Commenting, Ijeoma James expressed joy to have been reunited with her son.

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