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83-Year-Old retired army officer arraigned over baby trafficking charges

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has arraigned an 83-year-old woman, Clara Chinwe Deborah Ogo, founder of the Arrow of God Orphanage in Anambra State, for alleged buying and selling of human beings for any purpose.

In a statement signed by NAPTIP’s Communication Officer, Adekoye Vincent, on Sunday, Mrs Ogo was arraigned before a Federal High Court, Awka Judicial Division, presided over by Justice Hauwa Yilwa.

According to the statement, Clara Ogo, a retired Army Lt. Col, was arraigned on a one-count charge “That you Ogo Chinwe Clara Deborah (F) 83 Years old, of 66 Awka Road, Onitsha, Anambra State and others (at large), on July 6th, 2023 at the above address within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did buy and sell a baby, female, 5(Five) months old, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Sections 21 of the trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015”.

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Recall that the Anambra State Government in October 2023, handed over the Founder of the Arrows of God Community Children’s Home, Onitsha, Rev D.C Ogo, to NAPTIP.

The Orphanage came under scrutiny in 2023 after investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo, exposed alleged illicit activities related to illegal adoption and sales of babies linked to the orphanage.

The statement further read, “Following these revelations, NAPTIP launched a comprehensive investigation, resulting in Ogo’s arrest on October 3, 2023, at 15:10hrs within the premises of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Awka, Anambra State.”

Clara Ogo pleaded not guilty to the charge. The presiding judge granted her bail with a bond of N1.3 million and two sureties in like sum.

She was subsequently remanded at the Onitsha Correctional Facility pending the fulfilment of her bail conditions. The case has been adjourned to July 10, 2024, for trial.

The PUNCH earlier reported that the Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, sealed off the Arrow of God Community Children’s Home in Onitsha, over allegations of illegal adoption and selling of children.

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Obinabo led security operatives to seal off the structure after a report and documentary by Fisayo Soyombo made the rounds on social media and local television stations, alleging that the state Ministry of Women and Social Welfare was involved in an illegal adoption of a baby girl alongside one of her registered homes in the state.

Obinabo had however denied any involvement and the ministry in the illegal child adoption saga.



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