Nkechi Odilinye, 54, and three others were arrested by the police in Anambra State for alleged human trafficking. One of the other suspects alleged that Nkechi bought seven children from her for about N300,000 each.
What do you do for a living?
I’m Mrs Nkechi Odilinye from Amanfo Nkpor, Idemili North in Anambra State. I run World Peace Motherless Babies’ Home or Community Children’s Home and it is duly registered. I started it in 2014 but in 2019, the state government warned against child adoption so I stopped.
What brought you here?
I was arrested in my orphanage in Anambra.
How do you get the children in the orphanage?
Some of them are the children of people who work in my orphanage. Also, if you have a child you don’t know how to raise, you can bring the child to us but you will pay monthly for their upkeep. As an organisation, we accept such children. Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs has the names and records of the children because we usually share information about all the kids in the orphanage.
How come you received children all the way from Gombe in Anambra State?
Alhaji Ali Bala Shukari (one of the suspects) brought seven children, but it was in 2018. I interrogated them to know whose children they were and I was told that their parents were killed by Boko Haram and that they were orphans. I asked if the children were stolen but they swore that they didn’t steal the children. I told them further that as an Honourable member who is willing to contest again and as Nigeria’s representative at World Peace Society, I could never soil my integrity. However, they collected N250,000 for each girl and N300,000 for each boy and I gave the babies out for adoption. I put them up for adoption at about N750,000 (each).
Do you have children? How come you are doing this business?
Did I know that they were stolen?
@ Punch Newspaper