NO fewer than 14 pregnant girls and ladies have been rescued by men of the Abia State Police Command after they raided an alleged illegal maternity home.
The police said the martenity home was allegedly being used as a baby factory at Umukpeyi village in the Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of the state.
The age of the victims, according to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Udeviotu Onyeke, range from 14 to 25.
Onyeke explained that the alleged baby factory belonged to a “notorious child trafficking syndicate leader in the state, simply known as Madam Nma”.
The police spokesman said the rescue followed intelligence report that the principal suspect and the proprietor of the illegal maternity home had been habouring pregnant teenagers in the home for commercial purposes.
He said when interrogated, some of the suspects claimed they came from Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Rivers states.
He said, “Majority of those rescued claimed that they were brought to the home by sympathisers after they were driven away from their homes when it was discovered that they had unwanted pregnancies.”
Onyeke said while 12 out of the 14 suspects were confirmed pregnant, two said they came to check if they were pregnant.
The police said the owner of the illegal maternity home escaped arrest as she was not at home during the raid, but added that efforts were on to track her down.
The PPRO appealed to members of the public with any useful information on her whereabouts to volunteer same to the police for prompt action.
It will be recalled that the said suspect was earlier this year paraded by the police at the Officers Mess, Umuahia.
The police had then told journalists that she was picked up at Uyo after many years of evading arrest, assuring the people of the state that she would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations were over.