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Alleged child trafficking: Policeman narrates how stolen children were recovered from couple

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An Investigating Police Officer (IPO), ASP Desmond Apella, has told a Federal Capital Terrritory, FCT, High Court that stolen children were recovered from a couple charged with child trafficking.

Apella was testifying as the third prosecution witness (PW3) before Justice Peter Kekemeke in a case of alleged trafficking in children preferred against Ifeoma Abonyi, 32, and Emmanuel Onyekwere, 32.

The charged the duo with conspiracy and child trafficking.

The offences, the police said, are contrary to sections 30(3) 97 and 273 of the Penal Code.

Apella told the court that he was on the team that investigated the matter.

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He said that in November 2019, a man, Thomas Olobo, wrote a petition to the Inspector-General of Police over the disappearance of his 17-month-old child.

The witness said during investigation, the complainant told the police that the defendants, who are his neighbours, asked if the baby could accompany them to the market.

“The complainant granted the request and the first defendant took the child.

“They never returned the baby and the second defendant who claimed to be the first defendant’s husband equally disappeared,” he said.

The witness told the court that the police later traced the defendants to Ibusa, Delta State, where they were arrested.

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He said the investigation revealed that the defendants were operating a syndicate on child trafficking.

”We found out that the defendants had sold the baby to someone in Aba.

“We rescued the baby and reunited her with her parents.

“We also discovered that this is what they do. We also rescued six other children from them,” he told the court.

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NAN reports that Abonyi was reported to have absconded leaving the 2nd defendant to face the matter alone.

The second defendant did not have legal representative.

Justice Kekemeke therefore promised that the court would contact the Legal Aid Council to get a lawyer for the defendant.

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He then adjourned the matter until March 19, for cross examination of PW3 and possible continuation of the trial.

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