A cleric, Stanley Maduka, 40 and his sister, Glory Uma, 50, were on Friday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing an eight-month-old baby boy.
The police charged Maduka with two counts of conspiracy and child theft, while Uma was charged with receiving a stolen baby.
The duo, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecution Counsel, ASP Emuerhi Benson, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on Oct.18, at Iyana Ishashi Bus Stop Magboro area of Lagos.
Emuerhi alleged that Maduka, a pastor at Encounter with God Ministries, Tollgate Bus stop, off Badagry Expressway conspired with his sister and “bought” an eight-month-old baby boy suspected to be stolen.
He alleged that Maduka said that he met with one Mrs Chimecherem, who is at large and claimed to be a victim of domestic violence who needed to raise some money.
“Maduka then agreed with her to sell the baby for N250, 000 and contacted his sister, Uma who has been married for 16 years without a child and told her about the arrangement.
“They paid N235, 000 to Chimecherem, who claimed to be the baby’s mother. She told them that she had three other children and couldn’t take care of the baby,” he said.
The prosecutor said that on October 27 at Marogbo area in Lagos, based on information received by the operatives of State Intelligence Bureau(BIS), the defendants were arrested with the baby.
He said the biological parents of the baby are yet to be identified.
The prosecutor also said that the baby had been taken to a Juvenile welfare centre in Alakara, Mushin for protective custody.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 277(a)(b), 328 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Magistrate Olufunke Sule–Amzat admitted the defendants to bail in the sum N200, 000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
She also ordered that the sureties must provide proof of tax payment to the Lagos State Government for three years.
Sule-Amzat adjourned the case until January 23, 2020 for mention.