The police in Lagos have arrested a trado-medical doctor ─ Olawale Onalaja ─ for allegedly selling a week-old baby to a couple for N300,000 in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the couple, Dele and Oluwakemi Ayangbile, who had also been arrested by the police, allegedly paid the sum to the native doctor before taking the baby to their apartment in the Mile 12 area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the mother of the baby, 29-year-old Idiat Babatunde, was a student of a polytechnic in Osun State, and was preparing for her convocation when she was delivered of the baby on Saturday, September 5.
It was gathered that after the delivery, Idiat, who had a quarrel with her husband, Akinola Babatunde, had taken the baby to Onalaja, said to be a family friend, on September 13, and requested that he kept the child for her, while she travelled to school.
Our correspondent learnt that Onalaja, who lived in Ikola Odunsi Street in Iyana Ipaja, however, invited the Ayangbiles and sold the baby to them for N300,000.
It was learnt that when Idiat returned from school, Onalaja lied that the baby was in custody of a government-owned orphanage where he would be properly taken care of.
Our correspondent gathered that the buyers, the Ayangbiles, took the week-old baby to their rented apartment. But their suspicious landlord was said to have reported the matter at the Ketu Police Division after the baby had been with the couple for three days.
Our correspondent learnt that the police thereafter arrested the Ayangbiles, and also picked up Onalaja.
The wife, Oluwakemi, said she had been barren since 2009 when she got married, adding that Onalaja, who was a family friend, had earlier advised her to adopt a child.
She said, “I have known the traditional doctor since 2013. I got married in 2009 and I used to have miscarriages. It was while looking for treatment that I met him. In 2014, he advised that I should adopt a baby, but I did not agree.
“Two Mondays ago, he called me on the telephone and said I should meet him. He told me that he had a baby at hand to give us, adding that he would obtain all the necessary papers. I then discussed it with my husband and he said we should go for the baby since Onalaja was going to get the papers. He did not tell us that the baby’s mother was not aware of the transaction.
“I paid him N300,000, and brought the baby home. But after three days, the police came to arrest my husband and I. We have been barren for six years, and we need a child. We mean no harm to the baby.”
Onalaja, however, told our correspondent he collected only N156,000 from the couple, which was the sum to process papers from the government ministry in Alausa.
He said, “The agreement between the mother of the baby and I was that I would take the baby to an orphanage. The mother agreed to collect the baby back after three months in government’s custody.
“It is true that I collected N156,000 from Kemi and gave the baby to her. I wanted to take the baby to Alausa to register in an orphanage. But I was called on the telephone that the couple was arrested by the police. That was how I was also arrested. I do not sell babies. The mother is known to me.”
The mother of the baby, Idiat, said she had a quarrel with her husband, who was away in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and she gave the baby to Onalaja, so she could concentrate on her academics.
She said, “I had a quarrel with my husband, and so he was not at home when the baby was born.
“I gave the baby to Onalaja a week after while I went to school. It was when I returned that I realised that my baby had been sold. But I am happy to be reunited with him.”
A police source, however, told our correspondent that the mother of the baby knew about the sale of the baby.
The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the baby had been reunited with the parents, while the suspects would be charged to court.
The CP added that the command would not condone any act of criminalities in the state.
He said, “The couple, who were the beneficiaries of the baby, was arrested alongside the self-styled doctor. The police have recovered the baby and identified the parents.
“Although the baby has been returned to the mother, he is still under the watch of the Family Support Unit of the command.
“Investigation is almost concluded, and the suspects will appear in court soon.”