The Police Command in Cross River has arrested a couple for allegedly trafficking their two-year old first son to an agent in Portharcourt in exchange for money.
The Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, who presented the suspects to journalists on Tuesday in Calabar, said the couple were arrested on July 23 in Calabar after a report by the mother of the child, Magdalene Bassey.
Inuwa explained that the mother of the child reported that her husband, Daniel Bassey, gave out the child to a trafficking agent for an undisclosed amount of money.
He said: “On July 23 2018, one Mrs Magdalene Bassey reported at Efut Divisional Headquarters in Calabar that her husband, Daniel Bassey, took their first son to an unknown person in Port Harcourt through one woman called ‘Mummy’.
“The police immediately swung into action and arrested the suspect. During interrogation; the suspect revealed that his wife was a party to the transaction.
“The duo are now in police custody to unravel the cause of this inhuman action and possible prosecution.”
The father of the child told the News Agency of Nigeria that said he gave out the child as collateral for N180,000 to help him pay his house rent.
Bassey said: “I did it based on the debt of N21,000 I collected from a friend to pay my house rent.
“There is no work in this rainy season and I am jobless. A guy from my area informed me that he knows a woman who lends money to people.
“That my friend told me that I can give out the child as collateral to get the money without necessarily selling him.
“The woman gave me N180,000 immediately after she received the child.
“After that, my mother in-law came and asked me of the child and I lied to her that I took the baby to my brother for holiday.’’
The commissioner also presented 37 suspected armed robbers; 20 suspected cultists; eight suspects for unlawful possession of firearms and five suspects for murder, among others.
He assured that the command would continue to work in collaboration with other security agencies and residents of the state with a view to safeguarding lives and property.