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Child trafficking: George denies allegation

Child trafficking: George denies allegation
By Charles Abah
Published: Sunday, 23 Nov 2008
The Founder of Little Saints Orphanage Lagos, Mrs. Dele George, has described as spurious the report that the home was engaged in child trafficking.
The 14-year-old orphanage, she said, remained totally committed to the rehabilitation, reformation and reintegration of orphans, abandoned and abused children.
A weekly magazine (name withheld) had last week reported how one Miss Ruth Obianuju Okeke alleged that the home was involved in child trafficking.
Okeke in the report accused the home of forcibly keeping young girls who gave birth to children that were later sold to wealthy persons.
But reacting to the allegation, George in a statement to SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday said the report was targeted to tarnish the image of the home as well as to destroy the future of its inmates.
Okeke, the orphanage founder alleged, was an unstable person and as such, her remarks should be seen as dubious and diabolical.
George said, “The lady came to our office and I convinced her not to give up her baby as she and her baby were obviously attached to each other. We do not take such children because we know it is desperation and lack that propel such abandonment of children. I therefore advised her to go for some form of vocational training to empower herself. I immediately liaised with the founder of another charity organisation, Rehoboth, that takes care of such women to help her.
“The founder agreed to take her in but could not take in the child. We (Little Saints Orphanage) then agreed to help look after her child for the short period of rehabilitation and reformation. We made her get a sworn affidavit to this effect, as well as her hand written letter. On Thursday, November 6, she went to Rehoboth.
“The next day, the founder of Rehoboth called me to say she was a difficult recipient, unwilling to abide by the rules of the home. She was sent back to us, but it was a weekend so I gave her a note to stay at our Abule -Egba branch.
“On arrival at my office on Monday, November 10, she pleaded for another chance and for a job of any kind. She boasted about her praying abilities. I told her about a charity organisation that cares for the mentally challenged and asked if she was willing to join the team of workers in the home. She became excited and with a big smile said yes.
“As soon as she got there she became aggressive to the workers, and insisted on leaving the home. She was told to wait for them to get in touch with me first. She refused and became very restless. When they called me I immediately told them to let her come back to us. When she came back to us she was full of complaints. I contacted the home and was told she was not in any way maltreated. Since we are not equipped for women like her, we encouraged her to reconcile herself to her family.
2008 Nov 23