The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested one Gabriel Okon Ekpiri, a native of Ekit Itam Akpan Obong community in Itu Local Government Area of the state, for selling his nine-year-old son for the sum of N400, 000.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, who disclosed this in a statement in Uyo, the state capital, said the suspect was arrested by the Quick Intervention Squad of the Command.
Macdon said the suspect, during interrogation, confessed to the crime while blaming the act on the devil and economic hardship being experienced in the country.
The statement read in part, “The Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State, Olatoye Durosinmi, has condemned the action of one Gabriel Okon Ekpiri of Ekit Itam Akpan Obong in Itu Local Government Area, who sold his nine year old son for N400, 000.
“The CP noted that the act was barbaric and totally unacceptable, and the suspect who was arrested by the Quick Intervention Squad of the Command has confessed to the crime while blaming the devil and economic hardship for his actions.”
The incident occurred three weeks after a High Court in the state sentenced three women to death for child trafficking.
The convicts, Enobong Sunday, Gertrude Thompson and Mary James, abducted three children and sold them off in Aba, Abia State.
One of the convicts, Mrs. Thompson, from Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, confessed to making N500, 000 per child and N200, 000 for those who brought the child for her.
In November 2021, it was reported how operatives of the Anti-Human Trafficking unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Akwa Ibom State arrested a couple for allegedly selling their two daughters for N700,000.
The suspects, Elish Effiong and his wife, confessed to the crime and blamed their action on “extreme hardship.”
In March 2020, a woman in the state identified as Nse James confessed to selling her three-day-old baby for N300, 000.
The suspect, according to the report, also confessed to selling several children in the past. She had led police officers to Nkanu-Isiala Ngwa local government area, where a one-year-old child was rescued, and another suspect was arrested.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police has decorated two Deputy Commissioners of Police DCP Baba Lawan Audu, Area Commander, Eket Area Command, and DCP Lawal Isa Mani, Department of Operations.
The CP, while conveying the hearty congratulations of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, to the officers, charged them to double their productivity capacity while playing their deputising roles.
The elated senior officers, in their separate interviews with journalists, thanked the Police Service Commission, the Inspector General of Police for finding them worthy of being promoted and pledged their hard work and dedication towards the Command.