CHILD TRAFFICKING: CATHOLIC PRIEST ARRESTED FOR BUYING TWO CHILDREN FOR N900,000

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Men of the State Security Service(SSS) in Akwa Ibom State yesterday paraded 20 suspected child thieves including a Catholic priest.

Parading the suspects before newsmen in Uyo, the state deputy director of the SSS, Mr  Fubara Duke said that  the Catholic priest Rev. Father  Okono Joseph of St Peters  Parish, Owerri Catholic Diocese, Imo State was arrested for buying  two small  boys aged between three and four years for N450,000 each.

According to him, the man of God bought the children from an agent sponsored by one Chief Uche Joel Canice Onyekedru from Ogiri  in Imo State.

Those paraded includes Mercy Okon Etim; Collins Monday Edet; Caroline Nkwonna; Cecilla Ngozi Ngene; Eleka Okoye; Nwaonu Cosmas Okoro; Adaobi Onyeke; Elizabeth  Onubogu and Amaka Umeh.

Other are Ebele Nwadika Flowrence Onyodobi, Emenka Anaefuna, Nnamdi Onuchukwu,  Ifeoma Gladys Nweze, Chiyneyen Roseline Idam, Vivian Ogbona and   David Ogbuagu.

The assistant director disclosed that in the last eight months over 60 children has been sold off by the criminals.

He said  that the leader of the syndicate, Chief  Uche Joel who could not remember the number of children he has sold usually operate  in conjunction with agents who  similarly liaise with   government officials  in children homes and maternity hospitals.

‘’Investigation took our men to neighbouring states such as Abia, Imo and Ebonyi before they could arrest some of the suspects and over 20 children were rescued from the suspects.

Though some of them are still at large effort is being intensified to ensure that they are all brought to book,’’ Fubara stated .

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