SSS rescues 16 pregnant young ladies from Abia baby factory

By The Rainbow

The State Security Service (SSS) in Abia State on Thursday swooped on a bay factory in Aba, Abia State and rescued 16 young women in various states of pregnancy.

The security agents arrested the man in charge of the Home Cross Foundation International, run by a purported Non-Governmental Organization.

The 16 ladies, aged between 17 and 37 years, are indigenes of Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Abia, and Imo States, and were found at 3 Anyamele Street, off Nicholas Avenue, in Umungasi area of Aba.

The ladies upon delivery were given the sum of N50,000 and sent away while their babies were sold to people from different parts of the country.

While denying the allegation of involvement in child trafficking, the owner of the organisation, Ndudim Hyginus, said his foundation was duly registered with the Ministry of Women Affairs and was only rendering assistance to victims of unwanted pregnancy, which he said was not illegal.

Mr. Hyginus, who is currently in detention, said when he was arrested in 2004 by the police over the same matter, he went to court against the police and NAPTIP and was awarded N4 million damages, which he said the authorities were yet to pay.

A press statement by Matthew Obodochi of the State Security Service, warned 'those hiding under NGOs to perpetrate modern form of slave trade to desist from such illegalities as the security agencies will stop at nothing to ensure that they are apprehended and made to face the law.'

The SSS also urged members of the public 'to continue to give useful information on criminal elements in their midst to security agents for public good.'

Similar cases have been reported in different parts of Nigeria's South-East in recent times, the latest being the rescue of 24 pregnant young girls by security operatives in Imo State in May. The state governor, Rochas Okorocha, later directed that the girls be taken care of by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development while he approved the immediate release of the sum of N10 million for their upkeep and to ensure safe delivery of their babies.