Police uncover fake orphanage where teenage sex partners are bred and babies are sold
By Timothy Rotimi WIlliams
February 13, 2005 – Punch Newspaper
Senior officials of the Lagos State government and the police have uncovered a secret location where stolen new babies and missing children are sold for child trafficking and ritual purposes.
Located in Ago Okota near Isolo, the centre also harbours teenage boy’s and girls whose primary duty is to procreate for commercial purposes. Sunday Punch learnt that at least 50 of such teenagers were found at the centre, named, Good Shepherd Orphanage Home, when it was discovered by the authorities. The teenage boys and girls were reportedly often forced to engage in illicit sex with the aim of producing babies to be sold to ‘customers’ by the home.
The teenage inmates, whom, sources said, were kidnapped from different parts of the country, were usually asked to leave the orphanage after playing the role of “baby factories.”
The ‘home’, which is structured like a slave camp, is currently under security watch, while the state government has set up a panel to investigate the founding and operation of the centre.
A source at the office of the state Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Bamidele Opeyemi at Alausa, Ikeja, confirmed that the panel, headed by Mr. A. M. Balogun, a top government official, visited the centre during the week.
The panel, which also has other top functionaries like Mr. O. T. Ajao and E T. Oluwabiyi as members, during the visit, interviewed residents of the area who gave gripping and shocking accounts about the horrifying activities of the centre.
The panel is likely to submit its report on Tuesday to the state government. The police on Friday, quizzed the female operator of the orphanage, at the Ayobo Police Station. She rebuffed an attempt by Sunday Punch to get her comments on the development. She became hostile and eventually zoomed off in a chauffeur-driven car.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the police may dig some sites at the home where some of the kids feared dead were allegedly buried. Detectives are keeping surveillance around the home to forestal any unauthorised attempt to move the teenagers out of the place. A source said the panel members discovered from neighbours in the area that one-day old and new babies were often brought to the home on a daily basis.
Most of the kids at the home are often sold to prospective buyers, including foreign agents specialising in child trafficking. The dirty dealings at the fake home blew open when a former staff of the home fell victim of the horror. The victim, Mrs. Bose Ejikunle, had’ given a “testimony” in a church about two weeks ago at the Faith Revival Apostolic Church on Idimu-Egbeda Road, Lagos, headed by Apostle Paul Taiwo Adenuga, about what she had experienced at the home.
It was at the same time that the state government received four different petitions from others victims, who claimed to have suffered a similar fate at the home.
In a brief interview with the Sunday Punch, Bose narrated her experience thus: “I was a nanny with Madam, owner of the Good Shepherd Orphanage, where I worked for six months before I was driven out. “When I got the job, I was three months pregnant. My boss started showing strange love when the pregnancy was about seven months. She even asked me to go for a scan test but she surprisingly kept the result.
“However, I was eventually delivered of the baby on the first day of December, 2004, which unfortunately was the same day my husband died through a major motor accident. On the third day, I left my three-day old baby boy with my boss, who encouraged me to leave him behind, to attend my husband’s burial. I came back the following day to discover that my baby was missing from the home. I made enquiries and my boss told me she was the person who gave my son to the Lagos State government. This sounded strange to me and I asked where the “government” was so that I could retrieve my son, who was yet to be christened before the incident.
“Ever since, Madam had been dilly-dallying until some days ago when she threatened to deal with me if I ever asked after my son again.
“She eventually asked the manager in charge of the home to throw my property outside after paying me the sum of N17, 000 being my entitlement.” Bose, who took care of some kids at the home before the bubble burst, disclosed that before she was thrown out of the home, new babies were being brought from different parts of the country by some operators of Maternity Homes who worked in collaboration with the owner of the home. The Divisional Police Officer of the Ayobo Poiice Station, Mr. Onoja, a Chief
Superintendent of Police, (CSP), confirmed the discovery of the fake home, but declined to give further details.
“The state Police Public Relations Officer is expected to brief you on the matter,” he said. The state Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Bamidele Opeyerni, simply told Sunday, Punch that the panel on the matter would soon submit its findings.
“I do not want to pre-determine the panel’s findings, but be sure that the government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would definitely take an action as soon as the report is ready,” Bamidele assured. The head of the government panel, Balogun, stated in a telephone interview that the report would be ready before Wednesday.