A 20-year-old school dropout from Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, Maria Ekanem said yesterday in Calabar that poverty made her sell her 2-week-old baby girl for N20,000. Maria has been arrested by the police along five other accomplices. She said her boyfriend who got her pregnant, asked her to abort the baby but said a doctor helped her with free antenatal care and food until she gave birth.
Paraded along with Maria were a 55-year-old medical doctor, Okokon Offiong Okoho, the proprietor of Evangel Clinic,of 2, Atu Street; a 70-year-old matron of Sadatoe Maternity located at Umoh Street and a nurse at the maternity who allegedly made the plans to sell the girl to an Abuja-based lady who is now on the run. An SS2 girl of NYSC Demonstration Secondary School, Calabar , Maria Elemi, whose parents Maria was living with after she delivered the baby leaked this plan to the police. According to her, “When I came back from school on Monday, Maria told me she wanted to take the baby to the parents of the boy who impregnated her since she can no longer cope with taking care of the baby”.
Maria said when they got to Fuller by Inyang Street in Calabar South, they met Mrs Elemi and her daughter in an SUV car, adding that Maria gave the girl to the matron who handed her over to the buyer. She said: “The woman gave Maria N20,000 and asked her to pay the nurse at the Evangel Clinic and use the rest for herself. I started wondering why they should take the girl to the airport when the boyfriend to Maria and her parents live here in Calabar”.