The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCSDC) in Abia says it rescued 32 pregnant teenagers from a maternity home at Umuzuo, Osisioma Local Government area of Abia.
Mr Victor Ogbonna, the state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, made this known when he presented the pregnant teenagers rescued the home to newsmen in Umuahia on Wednesday.
Ogbonna said that the proprietor of the centre, Nnenna Mba, and two men – Mba Agbai and Chinwoke Mba , – who allegedly aided and abated the act, were arrested by the NSCDC.
He said the rescue and arrest took place on April 2, at Umuzuo community while the teenagers and the owner of the home were around.
He said that investigations by NSCDC revealed that victims were induced to sell a baby boy for N100, 000, while a girl goes for N80, 000.
“More investigations conducted showed that the owner of the maternity home, in turn sales the baby boy for N450, 000, and a girl for N400, 000,’’ he alleged.
Ogbonna said the NSCDC discovered that the home was established in 2009, but got registered with the state government in December 2012.
“In spite of the home being registered with government, investigations by our men revealed that the owner, hides under this to commit evil,’’ he said.
He said that investigations were ongoing in the matter.
Ogbonna said that the relatives of the victims had been contacted to reunite them with their people.
The proprietor of the home denied claims that she induced the victims to sell their babies.
Mba said the centre officially registered with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, was meant to assist pregnant teenagers.
Chinwoke Mba, one of the suspects, claimed he was a member of the Abia State Vigilance Service, deployed officially to the centre.
He said that the NSCDC officials overpowered him before the arrest.
“I told them I was posted to the centre officially by vigilance service and since the arrest, the NSCDC officials refused to allow me contact anybody, including the state office of the service,” he said.
Mr Martins Idika, the Commander-General, Abia State Vigilance Service, told NAN that the unit commander at Osisioma reported case of the arrest of one worker on duty by the officials of NSCDC on April 3.
Idika said the matter would be adequately looked into to ascertain if there was any complicity by the worker.