Like the biblical story of King Solomon and two prostitutes who laid claim to a baby, the Imo State Police Command is currently battling to unravel the circumstances surrounding the claim by two women to a child stolen from Onitsha but found in Imo State.
The victim, Emmanuel Adinna Okoro who was born on 9th August, 2010 was stolen from his parents, who reside at Awada-Obosi, in Onitsha by a lady who pretended to be his aunt. After the disappearance of little Emmanuel Okoro, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chinedu Okoro reported the case to the Awada police station. The police immediately swung into action, searching for the stolen baby who was 18 months old at the time of theft.
The efforts paid off when police detectives arrested a suspect simply identified as Ngozi who had come back to Onitsha to steal other babies. The family of the baby Emmanuel approached the police with the little housemaid from whom the baby was stolen, who identified the suspect on the spot. The police in Imo State where the suspect took Emmanuel to, however, declined to release the baby to his parents after evidence had been provided to identify the child.
That development prompted the counsel to the family of the stolen baby, Mr. Ignatius Umennabude to petition the Imo State Commissioner of Police. Meanwhile, Daily Sun gathered that the case took another dimension when the parents of Emmanuel were told the baby was with the Social Welfare Officer in Imo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and that they could not have access to him.
The Deputy Commissioner Police (DCP), in charge of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), was quoted as saying that another lady had lodged a complaint that she gave birth to a baby boy and left the child under the care of a certain nurse who was at that time being detained by police in connection with child trafficking.
The other woman told the police that the recovered baby, Emmanuel, was her son, adding that she gave birth to him while still in school and decided to leave the baby with the nurse to complete her education and when she came back, she could not find her baby.
On interrogation, the suspect, Ngozi confirmed that the baby belonged to Mrs. Okoro, but she could not explain the whereabouts of the son of the other woman, which raised questions on whether the baby had been sold and Emmanuel used as a replacement.
The suspect, Ngozi, the nurse who allegedly sold the other woman’s child and 12 others were charged to court but the police in Imo State insisted that there must be DNA test to determine the true parents of the stolen baby.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of the Imo State Police Command through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Sam Oodee were unsuccessful as at the time of filing this report.