Written by David LAWANI

Edo govt shuts down orphanage where child was sold for N1.7m

As part of efforts to eradicate all forms of child abuse and human trafficking, the Edo State Government, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has withdrawn the operational license of Famous Faithland Orphanage Home, over alleged involvement in the selling of a baby girl for over N1.7 million.

Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Maria Edeko, who led other officials of the ministry and security agencies to serve the letter of notice to the orphanage home located at 9, Osarenren Street, beside Deeper Life Bible Church, in Ohovbe Quarter, Ikpoba-Hill, Benin City.

The Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking had rescued baby Deborah, a victim of human trafficking and illegal adoption, who was sold by a woman, Maureen Ekuase, 45 years, to one Grace Idehen, 63 years, for over N1.7 million.

Addressing journalists on Friday,the commissioner said the state government frowns at all forms of human trafficking and abuse, noting that children are gifts from God and should never be traded as commodities.

According to her, the major challenges faced by the ministry include issues of child development as it relates to adoption, allegation of sales and trafficking of children.

She said: “Famous Faithland Home has been implicated in alleged sales of children. Since the report came, we started investigating the matter and today Edo State Government has withdrawn the temporary license granted to the orphanage. The orphanage has not operated within the confines of the law. The 17 children in the home are being relocated to a safe place.

“The governor is passionate about vulnerable persons especially children. The state government is also working within the mandate and vision of the governor to train managers of orphanage homes in the state on how to operate the centres,” the commissioner said.

Edeko maintained that the state government will continue to monitor the operations of orphanage homes and those found not to be suitable for the children will be shut down, noting, “No child under the watch of Governor Godwin Obaseki will be trafficked, abused or sold. Anyone that wants to do otherwise should be ready to face the law. Orphanage homes should not be seen as a place to make money.”



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