Police araigned couple in Owerri for operating illegal baby factory
The Imo State Police Command on Friday brought a medical doctor, James Ezuma and his wife, Chioma, before an Owerri Magistrates' Court for allegedly operating an illegal home for pregnant women.
Ezuma, 67, is facing an 18-count charge for allegedly keeping 16 pregnant girls in an illegal home with the intent to sell their babies after delivery to prospective buyers.
The accused was arrested on Nov. 24 in Owerri for allegedly abducting a day-old baby delivered by one Chinaza Nnachi, 19, in the premises of the home owned by the doctor.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Julius Onyemucheya, said the accused committed an offence punishable under the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as applicable in Imo.
The counsel also said the accused murdered a day-old baby for rituals by unknown persons and thereby committed an offence punishable by law.
Ezuma was also charged with being in possession of 10 unregistered exotic cars suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
His wife, Chioma, was also arraigned with a two count charge of negligence and impersonation.
According to the charge, Chioma was allelged to have administered drugs on Nnachi thereby endangering her life because she was not qualified to administer drugs.
The counsel said the woman was not registered to practice as a nurse or midwife and should not have aided the delivery of the pregnant teenagers.
The defence counsel, Mr Fidelis Eziku, however, pleaded for bail for the accused persons.
The Magistrate, Mrs Comfort Isiguzo, remanded the first accused in prison custody after he pleaded not guilty to the charges, while the second accused was granted bail in the sum ofN200,000 with one surety in like sum.
The matter was adjourned to Jan. 13, 2014 for hearing.