A 23-years-old man, Destiny Okon Uyong, was yesterday paraded by the Akwa Ibom State Police Command for allegedly conniving with his friend, one Etim Okokon, to sell his nine-month-old baby.
Uyong said he wanted to sell his daughter in order to pay the hospital bill of his aged father, who is suffering from cancer.
Briefing newsmen on the arrest and other achievements of the command, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Murtala Mani, said the baby was rescued through the combined efforts of a vigilante group and the police. He said they were alerted of the development by the baby’s mother.
Mani, who spoke through his Public Relations Officer, Cordelia Nwawe, said the suspect will soon be charged to court.
The suspect, during interrogation confessed to the crime.
‘‘I took the child from the mother in the middle of the night when she was asleep and handed her to the mediator, Etim Okokon, who was already standing-by to sell the baby to the potential buyer, Emmanuel Sunday,’’ he said.
He said as soon as his wife woke up and discovered that her child was missing, she raised an alarm which made members of the vigilante group to move into action.
Emmanuel, who deals in electrical parts, told journalists that he has been married for more than nine years without any issue.
He said he narrated his ordeal to his friend, Etim, and begged him to link him to anyone who is willing to sell his/her child.
The 40-year-old Emmanuel, who claimed that his wife never supported the idea, said he intended to pay N80,000 for the baby.
Also paraded was one Moses Etim Tom from Essien Udim, who was allegedly caught with a locally made pistol.
However, in an interview with journalists, the suspect, Moses Etim Tom, who claimed to be the youth president of his area, denied the allegation.
He alleged that he was framed up by his father, Etim Tom. He said his father was the rightful owner of the pistol, but that due to his ‘‘opposition to his father’s wicked ways’’, he got him arrested.
‘‘I am not a thief; I have never stolen anything from anybody. You people can come to my village and ask around. I am the youth president, please you people should not kill me for nothing because I am innocent My father owns the gun’’, he said.