Men of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a suspected child trafficker, one Maureen Wechinwu, who claims to be a Reverend Sister and confessed she ‘buys’ the children.
The police also paraded 20 other suspects arrested between August and September for various crimes.
The police had, based on intelligence reports, arrested Maureen at her residence in Aluu, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, and rescued 15 children from her home.
The Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, revealed that the children rescued from the suspected trafficker were aged between seven and nine, adding that the suspect would be prosecuted upon completion of investigations.
According to Eboka, preliminary investigations have shown that the children were picked from different parts of the South-South states and were being sold.
He said it took over 24 hours before the children were able to narrate their experiences to the police, adding that they were being tortured and maybe hypnotised as well.
He said: “On September 3, Operation Restore Peace Personnel of the Command, acting on credible information regarding a hideout of child traffickers, stormed Omuigwe Abuja Phase II, Aluu, in Ikwerre Local Government Area, where a lady who claimed to be Rev. Sister Maureen Wechinwu, aged 44 years, was arrested.
“Fifteen children were rescued and the case transferred to CP Monitoring Unit for discrete investigation.
“Investigation revealed the following facts: Prosper Godwin (m) was abducted at Ikpazasia market in Bayelsa State on 31/10/2020, together with two others whom he does not know their whereabouts, and was taken to the suspect.
“Later, he (Prosper) was sold to a woman in Lagos and then returned to the suspect.
“The parents, Mr. and Mrs. Godwin Ododor, have been contacted and they corroborated the child’s statement.
“Queen Harry (f) was abducted at Ojukwu Field Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt at about 7p.m., while on an errand with the elder sister.
“The mother, Mrs. Florence, have been contacted and she corroborated the facts.
“Miracle John Ohiri (f) was abducted on 19/11/2021 at Ada-George Road, Port Harcourt, opposite Holy Rock Church, along with her mother and two siblings, who have not been seen till date.
“The father, John Ohiri, who has been contacted for identification of the child, corroborated her statement that he reported the incident at Rumuokpakani Police Station.
“Favour Edeze (f) was abducted at Creek Road Market, Port Harcourt 29/04/2022 at about 10a.m., while on an errand.
“The father, one Emeka Edeze, has been contacted and identified his child and also confirmed the incident.
“Chimele Obinna (f) was abducted on 24/04/2022 at Rumuodara/Culvet Oroigwe, Port Harcourt, while seated in front of their house with her sister.
“The mother, Glory Obinna, was contacted and she stated that the incident was reported at Okporo Police Station.”
Eboka stated five parents have come to identify their children and that the police were yet to locate the parents of the others, calling on parents who lost their children to visit the command.
I’m a disgrace, suspected trafficker confesses
Maureen Wechinwu, in an interview, stated that she had become a disgrace to her people and to herself, insisting that she is not into trafficking.
Maureen said: “I run an orphanage with children of mad people. Fransisca Onyinyechi, who was given birth to by a mad woman in Ogbogoro community market, is one.
“I cannot say that I am a reverend sister now that I am a disgrace. But I believe I was earlier.
“I am of the Ladies of Victory Missionary Sisters. It is in England, a foreign congregation. I am the only Nigerian in it.
“Some of the children are mad people’s children. The others are brought to me by one Mr. Victor.
“Sometimes he comes with them in twos. One Miss Alice brought two to me. Alice said since I am a beginner that I should take them.
“Sometimes when Victor brings children, he will be demanding money. But due to the pressure on me sometimes I give N50,000, N60,000, and N100,000.
Victims’ mothers speak
Two women, who have already identified their children at the police headquarters, expressed joy over the police operation that led to the children’s rescue.
Glory Onyia, mother of one of the rescued children, disclosed that her child went missing five months ago, adding that the family had been in pain.
Onyia said: “My child got missing on April 22. He is an eight-year-old boy. I have been moving around from church to church. I even went to Okporo Police Station to give reports.
“I went out and when I returned I did not see my child till night; I searched for him all around.
“I am very happy. When he saw me he was very happy, shouting Mummy and everybody in our compound shouted when the police brought him.”
Also, Nkechinyere Harry said: “My daughter is Queen Harry, she is nine. She was kidnapped at Miles One close to Ojukwu field.
“I sent her to go to the market where they sell ‘bole’. I usually sent her to go there to get yam peels for our goats.
“I sent her elder sister and she went with her. When they got there, one man sent her elder on an errand.
“When she returned, Queen was missing. She came back home, but could not find her.”
84-year-old man rapes 8-yr-old child in Ogun
Operatives of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested one 84-year-old Stephen Jack for allegedly defiling an eight-year-old girl (name withheld).
The state Public Relations Officer, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement issued on Saturday in Abeokuta.
Oyeyemi said the octogenarian who resides at Okun Owa area of Ijebu Ode was arrested following a report lodged at Obalende divisional headquarters.
He said the girl’s father had told the police he discovered that his daughter was bleeding from her private part.
According to Oyeyemi, the father said when he asked the little girl why she was bleeding, she informed him that the suspect had sex with her.
Oyeyemi said the DPO Obalende division, Murphy Salami, immediately detailed his detectives to the scene, where the “randy old man” was apprehended.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the old man is a known pedophile in the area,” he said.
Oyeyemi said the victim had been taken to the General Hospital Ijebu Ode for medical treatment.
He quoted the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, to have directed the transfer of the suspect to State Criminal Investigation Departments for more investigation and possible prosecution.
Troops kill 38 ISWAP, seven Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest, says DHQ
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said that no fewer than 38 Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists were killed in the past two weeks in major onslaught against terrorists by troops in the dreaded Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
The DHQ said that troops in the various theatre of operations conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations with significant results recorded.
Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, while briefing Defence Correspondents, yesterday, on the successes recorded, said that troops of Operation Hadin Kai had sustained aggressive operations to deny terrorists further freedom of action.
He said: “In furtherance to this, troops conducted fighting patrols, ambushes and clearance operations at communities, villages and towns in Kukawa, Monguno, Kaga, Dikwa, Biu, Damboa, Gwoza, Mafa, Konguda, Bama and Guzamala local councils, all in Borno State.
“Of significant was the neutralisation of two key Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP commanders on September 12 and 15, 2022, identified as Abu Asiya and Abu Ubaida (A Qaid), at Parisu and Sheruri general area in Sambisa Forest respectively.
“Consequently, within the period in review, troops neutralised 36 terrorists, rescued 130 civilians and arrested 46 suspected Boko Haram terrorists as well as 12 suspected Boko Haram terrorists/ISWAP logistic suppliers.
Furthermore, 21 AK-47 rifles, 163 rounds of 7.62mm special, two RPG bombs, 25 dane-guns, four unexplosive ordinance store, two bandoliers, 10 solar panels, 23 bicycles, 10 motorcycles, one tricycle, 19 cell phones, 28 torch-lights, bags of assorted grains, 122 rustled sheep and N203,125 were recovered, among other items.”
Also, troops have killed seven Boko Haram terrorists in Kayamla Village of Konduga Local Council of Borno State.
The insurgents were neutralised on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, in an ambush of 73 battalion in collaboration with civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kayamla.
A counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, who confirmed the incident, yesterday, in Maiduguri, said that the marauding terrorists were massively escaping from the sustained military onslaughts of terrorists’ hideouts.
He said that the terrorists usually come to the areas to terrorise farmers and kidnap them for ransom.
He added that the troops had intensified their offensives against the terrorists, including their collaborators and logistic suppliers.
Meanwhile, the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai has also charged the troops to be responsible and professionals in defending the territorial integrity of the nation.
He commanded the soldiers to kill every terrorist in the North-East region with no mercy.
Nigerian posing as football fan arrested at UK airport after ingesting £80k worth of cocaine
One Benjamin Nwaogwugwu, identified as a Nigerian living in the United Kingdom (UK), has been jailed after he was arrested by the police at Manchester airport for swallowing cocaine “worth £80,000”.
According to UK Daily Mail, the illicit drug was consumed by Nwaogwugwu, who claimed to have been hired by Colombian drug barons, at a hotel in South America before he flew to Paris and then returned to the UK.
The 43-year-old was said to have pretended to be a Liverpool fan returning to the UK after watching the UEFA Champions League final — which held on May 28, 2022 in Paris — when police saw him grimacing in pain at the airport.
It took two days for him to pass out the drugs from his bowels, and after analysis, it was discovered that the cocaine has a ““purity of up to 89%” after an examination was done on 19 packages.
According to the report, Nwaogwugwu, said to be married with three children, said some persons threatened to harm his family members in Nigeria if he didn’t transport the drugs.
“The defendant was told if he did not do this, he and his family would be harmed and was threatened. There was a total of 100 packages but the defendant could only swallow 79 and was vomiting blood so had to stop. He was taken to the airport and flown back to France, then onto Manchester,” a statement detailing his plea reads.
“The defendant was under significant pressure to commit this offence but accepts this was not duress. The defendant did not stand to profit financially from this activity.”
He was arrested on June 1, 2022, and jailed for four years and two months after he pleaded guilty to cocaine importation.
Tina Landale, the presiding judge, reportedly said despite Nwaogwugwu’s “clean” record, measures must be taken to “prevent criminals from taking on these types of crimes”.
“You became involved in an enterprise where you attempted to bring cocaine into Manchester,” the judge was quoted as saying.
“You cooperated with it and then you tried to lie your way out of it. Drug smuggling is a vile, vile trade and it’s clear that these criminals prey on the vulnerable and you were exploited.
“Up to now, you had been making a positive contribution to the community and it is clear you are a man of good character and that you care for your family. However, this is an extremely serious offence and there must be a deterrence to prevent criminals from taking on these types of crimes.”
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