Akwa Ibom: Cryptic Pregnancy scam victim demands refund of N800,000

One Mrs. Stella Francis Edet of Okopedi village, Okobo Local Council Area of Akwa Ibom State, who was a victim of cryptic pregnancy scam has demanded for a refund of her N800,000, which was the amount paid to a traditional birth attendant, one Comfort Edet Effiong ‘f’, aged 42 years, who claimed to assist her have a child through cryptic means.

The victim cried out on Thursday, 12 March, 2020, at the police command headquarters in Ikot-Akpanabia, Uyo, when the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Imohimi Edgal, paraded over fifty suspects for committing various crimes ranging from child theft/trafficking, rape, cultism, kidnapping, robbery et al between November 2019 to end of February 2020.

The victim narrated how in search of a second child after having the first one nine years ago and experiencing about two miscarriages, met with the suspect who promised to help her get pregnant and deliver a baby in due time with a fee of N800,000.

She further narrated that after being fully convinced by a friend about the authenticity of the arrangement paid the money to Comfort and she was given some medications which made her stomach to start protruding after sometime.

She said she thought that she was pregnant because she had the normal symptoms of pregnancy and felt baby like movement inside her tummy as seen in normal pregnancy.

But trouble started at the time of delivery as the birth attendant, Comfort sedated her, covered her face and cut her pelvis with razor blade. When she regained consciousness, a frail looking one week old baby boy was brought to her as hers. She said she immediately rejected the baby whose navel has already fallen off, noting that in as much as she desperately wanted a second child , she would not take another person’s child. She immediately raised an alarm and fight ensued between her and the suspect.

However, the Commissioner of Police who earlier briefed the press on the matter said, “On 9/3/2020 at about 9pm, following a distress call, Operatives of Family Unit proceeded to Ifa Atai village and arrested one Comfort Edet Effiong ‘f’, aged 42 years, a traditional birth attendant, on allegation by one Stella Francis Edet ‘f’, aged 26yrs of Okopedi village, Okobo Local Government Area that she went to Sapodic Clinic, Ukanafun in 2018 where one Dr. Saturday Aaron gave her an injection for pregnancy which caused her womb to swell up.

“That she received a call on 9/3/2020 from one Mfon ‘f’, other names unknown now at large, that she was due for delivery. However, on getting to the delivery home, the traditional birth attendant gave her an injection on her lap to prevent her from feeling pain, and thereafter told her to lie on the floor. After a while, she noticed that the birth attendant covered her face with wrapper, used razor to cut her pelvis, and thereafter brought a baby claiming that she delivered the baby. That she raised alarm that she was not the mother of the child and fight ensued between both of them.

“Investigation revealed that Mrs. Stella paid the traditional birth attendant the sum of eight hundred thousand naira (N800, 00.00) for delivery. Comfort Edet Effiong ‘f’, the traditional birth attendant in her statement admitted the crime, stating that she gave the eight hundred thousand naira (N800, 00.00) to Mfon who is still at large. On the basis of investigation, operatives proceeded to Ukanafun where Dr. Saturday Aaron was arrested, along with his two staff namely, Imoh Johnny Eyop ‘f’, aged 29yrs and Janet Sunday Emmanuel ‘f’, aged 28yrs; and recovered substance suspected to be concoction used in administering to women for false pregnancy.”

CP Edgal also said that following intelligence on 11/2/2020 at about 2000hrs that one Ekpono-Abasi G. Eduok ‘f’, aged 20yrs, a student of University of Uyo (UNIUYO) was given a lift along Aka Road, by unknown men who later diverted her to a bush and demanded for fifty thousand naira (N50, 000) ransom before she will regain her freedom, a combined team of Anti-Kidnapping Squad and Eleme Area Command Patrol team traced the victim to a bush in Port-Harcourt on 12/2/2020 at about 1130hrs, and combed the isolated bush near GVC bus stop in Eleme where the victim was rescued unhurt. Suspects on noticing Police presence abandoned the victim and escaped to a nearby forest. Victim has since been reunited with her parents.

The Commissioner disclosed that on 12/12/2019 at about 3pm, acting on intelligence, Operatives of Anti-Kidnapping Squad proceeded to St. Thomas RCM Primary School, Ekpene Ukim, Uruan Local Government Area and arrested one Nse U. James ‘f’ of Nung Uyo Idoro village for attempting to abduct school children to an unknown place.

He added, “Instant search of her bag led to recovery of several children’s clothes. On interrogation, she confessed to have abducted/sold several children in the past, as well as her own three days old baby for three hundred thousand naira (N300,000.00) to one Love Okereafor ‘f’ and Ifeoma Ibe ‘f’, both of Abia State sometime in 2018. Suspect led Operatives to Abia State where Love Okereafor ‘f’ of Nkanu-Ishiala Ngwa Local Government Area and Ifeoma Ibe ‘f’ of No. 142 Aba/Owerri Road, both in Abia State were arrested, and child of about one year was rescued from them. Suspects confessed being active traffickers of children for years. Suspects charged to court.”

Imohimi said On 5/3/2020 at about 10:30pm, based on a distress call, that one Ifiok Emmanuel Ekanem ‘m’ of Ekpenyong Ufom village, Essien Udim Local Government Area invaded a shop belonging to one Akaninyene Sunday Tom ‘m’ of the same address with a locally made pistol, attempted to shoot the victim but missed his target, and also brought a dagger to stab the victim before the victim was rescued by his younger brother, SARS Operatives swung into action and arrested the suspect and recovered one locally made pistol. Suspect confessed to crime.

He therefore said the above achievements would not have been possible without the partnership of people of Akwa Ibom State who have been giving useful information to the Police and enjoined them to continue to work with the police.