I was tricked to sell my baby
Twenty-eight-year old Bose Ojekunle made the mistake of her life when she consented that her baby be handed over to unknown persons by Rev. (Mrs.) Gift John of Good Shepherd Orphanage, Okota, Lagos. She was later given N70,000 to start a business. Her story was first published in the Daily Sun of January 14, 2005.
In this exclusive interview, Mrs Ojekunle gives a blow-by-blow account of how she was allegedly deceived to sell her baby.
"I was living with my husband in Egbeda before a misunderstanding arose, and he drove me out of his house. I had to go back to the family house. I am from a Muslim background, so I was told by my family that I cannot be going to church from the family house.
When I insisted, they didn’t allow me and my kids to have peace of mind. Along the line, something happened and I was driven away from the family house.
"There is one pastor that I know, Pastor Kenny. I went to him and told him that I am looking for a job. He pledged to help me get one. He later introduced me to the proprietress of Good Shepherd Orphanage, Rev. (Mrs.) Gift John. And I started work with the woman as a nanny in the orphanage.
"Incidentally, by the time I was leaving my husband’s house, I didn’t know I was pregnant already. By the time I discovered that I was pregnant, I was afraid to go back to tell him. I was confused. Later, my husband came with his mother to my mummy’s place several times to make peace with me. But each time he came, they will not direct him to where I was working at the orphanage. So, I never knew that my husband was looking for me before he died. My family did not allow him to locate me.
"He died on February 1, 2004 and was buried four days later, on February 4. It was the day that he died that I delivered the baby. I delivered on February 1. And it was the day that he was buried that people that I cannot identify came and carried the baby after striking a deal with Mrs John, the owner of the orphanage where I worked. I went for my husband’s burial, before I could come back to the orphanage, they had taken the baby away.
"It was Mrs. John that gave out the baby to the unknown persons. She impressed it on me that I cannot cope with taking care of the new baby, since I have two already, making them three. So she advised me to give out the baby.
"After Mrs John gave out my baby, the orphanage was moved from Idimu to Ago Palace Way, Okota, into a building she built herself. I went with her to the new place with my two children. I met her husband there, too. Her husband said he will send my children to school, but Mrs John did not allow her husband to send my children to school.
I found myself discouraged. I didn’t know what I was doing again. I was confused. From there, Mrs John said that they should pay me off. I thank God for exposing this thing because I was confused. I don’t know what to do again. I thank God that this thing was exposed because He still wants me to be alive.
"It was even when I was still pregnant that negotiations on how to give out the baby began between Mrs John and those she gave the baby to. All this time, I was advised to hand over the baby, that I cannot cater for the baby with the two I already had. The baby was given out four days after delivery. Mrs John gave me N70,000 to start business.
"I did not start any business, because they collected the money from me later to rent accommodation for me. The money was given to the pastor that introduced me to Mrs John to pay for the house on my behalf. The man that he supposedly paid the money to said that when he moves out of the house, then I can move in. But the man never moved out of the house. At a point, he started refunding the supposed rent paid to him in bits, and that way I couldn’t use the money for anything worthwhile again.
"Mrs Gift gave me papers to sign that I want to give out my baby to the government to take care of them for me. But she gave it to those people that bought it. I want my baby back.
"I am confused, I don’t know what to do. Now, I am constantly having nightmares of my late husband chasing me in the dream asking me to go and collect his ‘picture,’ which means, the baby that was sold. That I should go and collect his baby. He appears frequently to me in the dream asking me to go and collect his baby back.
"So at Faith Revival Apostolic Church where I worship, the General Overseer, Apostle Paul Adenuga gave a prophecy that there is a woman in the congregation that is keeping a dirty secret, she should confess or she will die. So I came out to confess. I want government and people to help me out of this mess. I want my baby back."
Rev. (Mrs.) Gift John was picked up at her orphanage at Okota by the police Ayobo Divisional Headquarters and quizzed while investigations into the case continues.
The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ayobo, Mr Ben Onoja told Daily Sun that the police is waiting for the Welfare Office at Alausa to prove the authenticity of certain documents made available by Mrs John that were allegedly used in the transaction. Meanwhile the whereabouts of the baby is still unknown.
The General Overseer of Faith Revival Apostolic Church whose prophecy during a church service opened the can of worms had earlier told Daily Sun in an interview that if retrieved, the church will take care of the baby. "By the grace of God, if we get the baby back, I and my members will start taking care of the baby. If they don’t return the baby, the sin is on the nation.
"Now her husband is disturbing her in the dream that she should return his baby," he continued, "and she is having the dream everyday. If no solution is found, it could result to another thing."