Two Ondo Top Civil Servants in Trouble for stealing, selling Baby N1million
Long arms of the law have caught up with some government officials who were alleged to have stolen the child of a mentally challenged woman that was in their care.
The defendants; Sarumi Adeyemi and Orisamehin Florence Bosede are senior officials of the Ondo State ministry of Women affairs with the former being on a director’s cadre.
After facing disciplinary action from the ministry, the duo are currently appearing before an Akure high court judge and were charged with the offences of conspiracy and child stealing.
According to an information filed by the prosecution led by Bunmi Koyenikan of the Department of Public prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, the mother of the child, Deborah Iretioluwa Olorundare was a destitute and mentally deranged when she gave birth to the child on a street and was taken by good Samaritans to MM Catholic hospital in Ondo.
The Hope newspaper reports that Officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs alerted of the development had waded in and sent the mother to the Ondo State psychiatric hospital, along Oda road, Akure while the child was taken to an orphanage.
Upon treatment at the psychiatric hospital, the sick mother began to respond to treatment in a matter of months and began to demand for her child.
Although there had been an agreement between the medical personnel at the facility and the officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development that the baby would be brought to her mother periodically for bonding, the agreement was not honoured by the defendants. It was believed that the bonding will help with the woman’s recovery.
After her rapid recovery and eventual discharge from the facility, the defendants had to present her with a baby due to pressure from family and the hospital.
However, the situation took on a sinister twist when the woman rejected the imbecile baby boy brought to her and insisted that her baby was a girl.
Upon petitions from concerned authorities, Department of State Services investigated the allegations and claims made by the mother and the psychiatric hospital and the duo of Sarumi Adeyemi and Orisamehin Florence Bosede, were charged to court.
They were said to have stolen a baby girl belonging to one Deborah Iretioluwa Olorundare and later exchanged same with an imbecile baby boy.
They allegedly committed the offence on the September 14, 2020 at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Akure, The Department of State Services, Akure had swung into action following the receipt of an intelligence report about the existence of what it described as “child trafficking syndicate” at the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Akure.
The syndicate is believed to specialize in the sale of new born babies delivered by psychiatric patients. Consequently, the State Director of Security Services (DSS) directed an investigation to unravel the truth of the matter and expose the members of the syndicate.
Investigation began and the complainants and other witnesses made their statements while the defendants made their statements under caution in the presence of their counsel.
According to the prosecution, Investigation revealed that the baby delivered by the woman was a female and not male as the defendants would have people believe.
The baby was said to have been swapped with a sick baby boy by the defendants.
The original baby was allegedly given to one woman for adoption after a payment of about one million naira.
Another staff of the Ministry, one Rosemary Ali who followed the second defendant to the hospital in Ondo told the DSS that although her boss told their director who is the first defendant that the baby was a boy, she discovered that it was a girl when it was handed over to the woman for adoption.
She said she was invited by the second defendant to accompany her to St. Theresa Orphanage home in February 2021 to check on the baby of the psychiatric patient and she was actively involved in the adoption process which made her to be certain that the baby was a female and was the child of the psychiatric patient.
Ali explained that she tried to warn the defendants about their wrongdoing but the second defendant had told her that they have their means and had threatened her which made to lie in her first statement at the State CID that the baby was a male.
A medical practitioner in the Psychiatric Hospital, Akure, Akinnuoye Akinwumi hinted that there was an agreement between the management of the hospital and the staff of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development that the baby should be brought foom time to time to allow bonding/attachment of mother/baby.
He testified that for over four(4) months that the patient was in their facility, the staff of the Ministry of Women Affairs refused to bring the baby despite much pressures and frequent calls.
On discharge, the doctor had sent a social worker to go with the patient to the ministry in order to witness the handing over of the baby.
Surprisingly, the officers of the ministry took them to a private orphanage along Ondo road where an imbecile male baby was given to the patient but this baby was rejected by the patient because she insisted that she delivered a baby girl.
It was also revealed during investigation that the officers of the ministry went to the patient’s home in Idanre and brought the patient and some of her family members to Akure to sign some documents that they don’t need the baby again.
This had prompted the facility to write a petition to the Commissioner for Health who eventually reported the case to the police for investigation and necessary action.
It was discovered that in July 2020, the woman came to Akure zonal welfare office to adopt a baby.
She was directed to the second defendant to obtain adoption form and the baby was thereafter brought from the orphanage and handed over to the woman.
The woman, being a childless woman, went for adoption around May, 2020 at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development office, Oke-Eda, Akure.
She was given some forms to fill and around October 2020, she was called to come for a baby girl because that was her specification.
After filling all the necessary forms, officers of the Ministry visited her house for verification while two guarantors also signed the forms for her.
After all these, the baby was handed over to her.
ln February 2021, the whole sordid racket became exposed and she was invited to the office of the DSS for interrogation.
According to impeccable sources, the woman had fled the shores of Nigeria with the baby and showed no signs of returning anytime soon.
However, hearing is billed to commence in the suit before Justice A. A Fasanmi of Ondo State high court 6 on November 11, 2021.