The Rivers State Police Command has successfully apprehended Dr. Happiness Enyinnaya Iheukwumere, a medical doctor also known as Dr. Hagi, on charges of child trafficking. The arrest came after a report of abduction filed by a concerned mother, Ijeoma James, in Awalama Rumuokoro, Obio/Akpor Local Council.
Commissioner of Police, Emeka Nwonyi, stated that the incident occurred on August 18 when an individual named Promise entered James’ compound and stole her four-year-old son, Prosper James. Despite numerous attempts to locate the child, all efforts proved unsuccessful.
In response to the report, detectives from the Special Area Division swiftly initiated an intelligence-led investigation, which resulted in the arrest of Ifesinachi Opara. Subsequently, Opara’s arrest led to the apprehension of Dr. Hagi, to whom the child had been sold.
Further investigation by the police uncovered three additional children trafficked by Dr. Hagi from various parts of the country. The children, who had been sold, were rescued by the police in Port Harcourt. They include Benedict Kpaaka, a one-year and seven-month-old child, Godgift Julius, aged four, and a six-year-old girl known as Philomina.
CP Nwonyi revealed that during the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Angel Shimeson, a 25-year-old female, was the supplier of the children to Dr. Hagi. The police are diligently working to apprehend Shimeson.
Dr. Hagi, in his confession to the crime, admitted that he engaged in child trafficking to assist couples, particularly his patients, who were unable to conceive. He emphasized that his actions were not driven by ritualistic purposes and claimed that he had returned the children upon receiving information from the police. Additionally, he cited the lengthy and bureaucratic process of legally adopting a child as a reason for his involvement in illegal activities. Dr. Hagi, a practicing medical doctor and member of the NMA, acknowledged responsibility for his actions and expressed a plea for the government to consider mercy in his case.
Ijeoma James, the relieved mother, expressed her gratitude at being reunited with her son, Prosper James.