By Ruth Oginyi
Two persons, Nduka Uzor and his friend, Chimezie Christopher have been arraigned for stealing a baby, Olisaemeka Ofoke on 31 October 2019 at Ekewulimiri Street in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
There were arraigned before an Abakaliki Magistrate Court on November 25th, 2019 on suit number, MAB\851c\2019 on three count charges bordering on child stealing, unlawful confinement and deprivation of the minor from the parent’s liberty and care.
The suspects who fled with the child were, however, apprehended in Port Harcourt ,Rivers State and brought to Ebonyi State for prosecution.
Their offences are punishable under sections 516A (a),371(a) and 365 all of the criminal code cap 33 volume 1 laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009.
The defence counsel, Onah Esq, prayed the court for bail of the accused persons that they had no previous crime record in the court and has reliable sureties.
The police prosecutor opposed the bail application insisting that they shall jump bail and revealed that they are not resident within jurisdiction of the court but works as syndicate from Abia state, Port Hacourt , Ebonyi state and were arrested at Port Harcourt as they went for transactions .
He appealed that instead of granting them bail, accelerated hearing should done on the matter to obtain justice for the innocent one year and ten months old minor.
The trial magistrate, Chief Magistrate Nnenna Onuoha after hearing from the defendants who pleaded not guilty, granted them bail in the tune of two hundred thousand naira in like sum, accused to produce sureties resident within jurisdiction of the court, sureties to be owners of landed property which must have certificate of occupancy, sureties to show evidence of tax payment for three years.
Considering the tender age of the complainant who is a single mother, the matter was adjourned to a later date and transferred to Family High court sitting in Abakaliki for private hearing.
Speaking to journalists the mother, Miss Chinasa Ofoke, a native of Ogbala Ishieke of Ebonyi Local Government Area, thanked God for enabling her to recover her son.
The boy was rescued from the man her “Lover” who took him from her Ekwilimmiri street resident to Port Harcourt, Rivers state for sell, but he could not sell the boy as planned as the proposed buyer refused buying the baby because of his natural dreadlocks (Dada).
She explained that the rescued boy , Olisaemeka Ofoke on 31 October 2019 was left in the hands of the 36 years old Nduka Uzor who proposed marriage to her two months ago, she innocently went to wash their dirty clothes since the baby was having diarrhea, but he was unfortunately stolen and not seen for many days till divine intervention.