By Abba Gwale

The Anambra State Police Command has disclosed that it has rescued 18 children that were kidnapped and trafficked to the state from various parts of Nigeria but the children still remain unclaimed by their parents or relatives.

The command also stated that it has arrested a notorious child trafficking kingpin, Mrs Nkechi Odinye, at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

While narrating how the police rescued the children, the Command’s Public Relationship Office, CSP Haruna Muhammad, said that, “On 22/10/2019 following an intelligence report, police operatives attached to the Anambra State Police Command arrested three female suspects at Nkpor Market/Tarzan Junction in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State, with three children suspected to have been stolen.”

He highlighted that the police investigations revealed that the children were stolen from Gombe State by one Hauwa Usman on 20/10/2019, and brought to her accomplices in Anambra State.

“Following the Public announcement by the Command on the 27/10/2019, parents of the two kids from Gombe State came to Awka and identified their children who had since reunited with their families while the suspects were handed over to the Gombe state police command for thorough investigation,” he added.

“The suspects confessed that they steal children and bring them to Mrs Nkechi Odinye in Anambra State, who buys each child at the rate of two hundred to four hundred thousand naira, depending on their age and gender,” he said.

Based on this tip, “police stormed the hideout of Mrs Nkechi Odinye where they arrested her and rescued 16 other children, comprising ten boys and six girls.”

On 18th January 2021, Gombe State Police Command returned eleven unclaimed children back to the Anambra State Command where the children were originally found.

Haruna narrated that, “The unclaimed children were subsequently handed over to the Anambra State Ministry for Social Welfare, Women’s and Children’s Affairs, for safe keeping until their biological parents are found.”

Anambra State Police Commissioner, John B. Abang, therefore urged the public to disseminate the pictures of this children through their media to enable the biological parents or close relatives identify their children.

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