A 20-year-old girl, Maria Ekanem, native of Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State has claimed that poverty forced her to sell her two weeks old baby girl for N20,000.
The suspect, who was arrested by the police along five other accomplices, said her lover, who put her in the family way, had asked her to terminate the baby but a doctor helped her with free antenatal care and food until she gave birth.
Ekanem claimed she had no choice than to sell the baby because there was no more money to cater for her.
Paraded along with Maria were a 55-year-old medical doctor, Okokon Offiong Okoho, the proprietor of Evangel Clinic,of 2, Atu Street; a 70-year-old matron of Sadatoe Maternity located at Umoh Street and a nurse at the maternity, who allegedly made the plans to sell the girl to an Abuja-based lady who is now at large.
The police went after Maria and her accomplices when information of plans to sell the baby was leaked by a Senior Secondary Two girl of NYSC Demonstration Secondary School, Calabar , Maria Elemi, whose parents Maria was living with after she delivered the baby.
“When I came back from school on Monday, Maria told me she wanted to take the baby to the parents of the boy who impregnated her since she can no longer cope with taking care of the baby,” she told newsmen.
Maria said when they got to Fuller by Inyang Street in Calabar South, they met Mrs Elemi and her daughter in an SUV car, adding that Maria gave the girl to the matron who handed her over to the buyer.
She added, “The woman gave Maria N20,000 and asked her to pay the nurse at the Evangel Clinic and use the rest for herself.”
“I started wondering why they should take the girl to the airport when the boyfriend to Maria and her parents live here in Calabar,” Maria stated.
Reacting to the development, Cross River Police Public Relations Officer, ASP John Eluu, said immediately information got to the police at the Federal Housing Police Station, detectives swung into action and arrested the suspects.