The Anambra State Police Command two days ago declared a government official wanted over child trafficking. The woman identified as Mrs. Sabina Izoura is said to have sold three children who were recently rescued from a home in Onitsha, where a woman and her mother who operates a church ministry locked them up.
It is both a sad testimony and a heartrending melody when those who are supposed to uphold the law are the perpetrators of heinous crimes in society. Even more dismal is the fact that their position as women elicited no sympathy or feelings of motherhood when harvesting these evil seedlings. This not only reveals man’s inhumanity to man, it also exposes the level of moral decadence in our society.
It drew pangs of great distress when police operatives attached to 3-3 Police Station, Nkwelle Ezunaka, in conjunction with local vigilante groups, raided a house at the Federal Housing Estate, Onitsha, and arrested one Rejoice Raymond, aged 39, alongside her 80-year old mother, Mrs. Chidi Felicia Nwafor. More disturbing was the fact that one of the rooms was a shrine and had children who had been tortured and are being prepared for pounding for ritual purposes.
Exhibits recovered at the scene were blood-stained canes, concoctions, some fetish items, and other incriminating items. According to CSP Haruna Mohammed, the two suspects allegedly confined three children (a girl and two boys) in different rooms and subjected them to physical and emotional torture. The kids were without food and they inflicted several wounds on the children’s bodies, leaving them unconscious, almost at the point of death. They were rescued and were immediately rushed to the hospital.
CSP Haruna posited that Sabina Izoura had, prior to this time, been involved in illegal adoptions wherein she deployed several sinister and fraudulent means to carry out the act. Some of these means include forging authorisation letters from the Ministry of Women Affairs, using forged police reports, and sworn court affidavits. It was gathered that she steals children from all parts of the country to sell to her customers, home and abroad, who are always on queue.
Surprisingly, the paraded suspect, Rejoice Raymond, said that she adopted the three children for N3.5 million with documents from the ministry. She claimed that she was equally unaware of the lacerations on the children’s bodies until a day she was apprehended by security operatives. Defending herself further, she explained:
“I adopted the children legally with the necessary documents. The police should rather investigate the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and find out what is happening there and not me.”
A popular adage says that there is no smoke without fire. While some dedicated workers in government have committed themselves to squeezing out this evil from society, others have continued to aid and abet it. It is quite disturbing that these elements equally have the backing of top persons in the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, or are connected to them.
It is important to mention at this juncture that Sabina Izoura is a social worker. She was a former staff of Social Welfare Department, Awka South Local Government Area. She was however recently transferred to Social Welfare Department, Ihiala Local Government Area.
One thing is therefore clear and it is the fact that Sabina Izoura has been using her position and hiding under the cover of working for government to perpetrate child trafficking, many of which are for ritual purposes.
Both Rachel and her mother have also been using religion as a cover-up for their evil deeds as they both run a prayer ministry. There are many people like Sabina, Rachael and her aged mother in our society, who hide under a protective cover like government or religion to commit heinous crimes.
Another issue that deserves query is the commodification of human beings. Why are children adopted at such a high price? Not just any price, but a “ridiculous price” for that matter? While some have tried to cloth this under the guise that they have to pay for adoption because of the costs associated with the adoption process such as legal, medical, and professional work, must the cost be in millions?
The fact that Rejoice Raymond adopted those children at a huge price is the reason she boldly makes reference to it despite her evil deeds. It, thus, means that there are people who intentionally adopt children for the purpose of ritual and other evil schemes. The legality of the initial process only serves as cover-up for further misdeeds.
While it is only right that due processes are followed in the adoption process, this criminal case involving workers in the ministry exposes the loopholes of these processes and call for urgent need to check them. There have equally been cases of adopted children deserting their homes owing to maltreatment. Many are subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
It is therefore without doubt that there are people in or connected to government institutions that are aiding the evil called child trafficking, and so long as they remain uncovered, the evil will persist. Police authorities in Anambra State deserve commendation for unearthing this evil in society. To save our children from their sizzling tears, issues like this must be addressed at the root.