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Nigeria: Doctor Arraigned for Running Baby Factory


Nigeria: Doctor Arraigned for Running Baby Factory

This Day (Lagos)
3 July 2008
Posted to the web 3 July 2008
Francis Ugwoke
A medical doctor, Kenneth Akunne, who was arrested about three weeks ago for allegedly operating an illegal maternity home where 20 pregnant under-aged girls breed babies for sale, has been arraigned in the Federal High Court, Enugu.
Akunne was arraigned on a 20-count charge of procuring four under-aged girls for canal knowledge, an offence which the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Ramiah Ikhanaede said contravenes Section 14(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003.

Among the girls were, Miss Chiamaka Ozude, 14, Miss Cynthia Okeke, 14, Miss Azuka Nwankwo 17 and Miss Loveth Nwachukwu 17.
Akunne was also accused of detaining the girls against their will, in what the prosecutor said was deliberate, to have canal knowledge of them.
The charges read to Akunne was, " that you, Dr Akunne Kenneth Uzoma, 52, of No 3/6 Anyaegbunam Street, Uwani, Enugu, on or about April 2008, confined Miss Chiamaka Ozude and three others in Uzoma Hospital and Lady Phoebe Chinyelugo Maternity Home against their will, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 19© of the Trafficking Law."
He was also accused of sourcing the girls with the intent of using them for immoral purpose and held them as slaves, an offence punishable under Sections 21 and 24 of the Trafficking in Persons Law.
The prosecuting counsel opposed an application for bail filed by Akunne's Counsel, Dr Godffrey Oguagha, after the suspect had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
According to the Prosecuting Counsel, Ramiah Ikhanaede, the defence counsel had failed to properly present the application for bail.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, while upholding the objection for bail asked the defense counsel to properly file a motion for bail, and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
Adjourning the case to September 24, Justice Kafarati said there was no other place to remand the medical doctor except in prison custody, since the prosecuting counsel from National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related matters (NAPTIP) told the court that the organisation was not ready to accommodate the suspect any longer.
NAPTIP explained that keeping the suspect in its custody means catering for him with the tax payer's money, and was not ready to do this, but would rather spend its resources on the girls.
Akunne's maternity home was raided by the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps in Enugu, after a woman, Mrs Bene Aguocha was intercepted with a day-old-baby, on her way to Lagos.

Aguocha told the Corps that she bought the baby from the home for the sum of N340,000.

2008 Aug 3