43-year-old woman arraigned for stealing a 2-day-old baby

A 43-year-old woman, Chinyere Okonkwo, has been arraigned before an Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court for allegedly stealing a two-day-old baby.

It was learnt that the suspect allegedly stole the baby from Abia State and was on her way to Lagos State when the child began to cry inconsolably.

Okonkwo’s inability to placate the baby was said to have aroused suspicion from passengers in the bus.

A police officer in the vehicle was said to have ordered the driver to park the bus by the side of the road. He interrogated the suspect who reportedly said the mother of the child lived in Lagos.

Her suspicious response was said to have made the policeman direct the vehicle to the nearest police station, where she was further queried.

It was learnt that the defendant allegedly made confessional statements which led to the arrest of her accomplice, one Ogbu Orji, also from Abia State.

Both Okonkwo and Orji were arraigned on four counts of kidnapping and child stealing.

The police however told the court that the true mother of the child was yet to be found.

The charge read in part, “That you, Chinyere Okonkwo, Ogbu Orji, and others now at large, on November 6, 2013, while on transit to Lagos at Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; kidnapping and child stealing.

“That you, with intent to deprive one Judith, aka MD Abubakar, aged two days old, of the care and custody of her biological parents, name unknown, did steal the child.”

The police prosecutor, Inspector Richard Odige, said the offence was punishable under sections 409, 275, 269, 135 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The defendants said they were not guilty of the offence.

The magistrate, Mrs Demi Ajayi, admitted them to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum. The matter was adjourned till January 27, 2014.