Gunmen invaded the labour room of a maternity home in Nkwoegwu, Ohuhu, in Umuahia North LGA of Abia State and took away a new born baby while nurses were battling to save the mother from bleeding to death.
The baby, a boy, was still dripping with blood when the evil men seized and folded him with the bed sheet in which he was lying.
The mother, Mrs. Eberechi Ihezukwu, says she still thinks that she is
in one deep dream, which she will wake up from. “I only heard the cry
of my baby and I asked the nurse its sex and she told me that it was a
baby boy. I have had three girls for my husband and this is the first
male child. My heart was joyful as I felt that I have got an identity in
my husband’s house.
With the joy, I was happy that if the nurses stopped the bleeding,
its arrival would be a consolation for my travails. “Now see what they
have done to me. My breasts are heavy with milk; it is a burden I have
refused to bear. They should please bring back my baby to suck my
breasts. I refuse to believe that my baby has gone; the God who put it
in my womb for nine months before its delivery will fish out the
perpetrators and my baby will be brought back to me.
Peace will continue to elude those who have taken it until they bring
it back to me,” Mrs. Ihezukwu prayed. Her husband, Clifford Ihezukwu, a
radio/television repairer, said what was too much for him to understand
was how the police, who he reported the incident to turned him into a
suspect and locked him up in a cell for two days (Tuesday to Thursday)
until he allegedly bailed himself with N15, 000.
“On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at about 2pm, my wife who was already
heavy with a baby told me she was going to hospital (Our Lady of
Apostles, Nkwoegwu, Ohuhu, Umuahia North LGA of Abia State) where she
normally puts to bed. Later, she phoned me, seeking for my consent as
the nurses wanted to give her hot drip to help her deliver of the baby
since during her three previous pregnancies, there was no time she was
given such hot drip before she put to bed. Instantly, I gave my consent
if that would be the solution to the problem.
I learnt that the drip was at about 6pm. By 7pm, I went there to see
her since it is within a short distance from my home. When I got to the
maternity, I saw my wife’s sister rejoicing; she told me that my wife
had just put to bed. I thanked God and told her to take charge while I
went back to check what I was cooking. I was there when she rushed back
to the house and was shouting: “My stomach! My stomach!” I asked her
what was amiss and she told me that gunmen invaded the maternity, kicked
her in the stomach after overpowering the security man and collected
everybody’s cell phones, including that of my wife who was still inside
the labour room where the nurses were battling to stop the bleeding
after the delivery.
They dashed into the labour room, grabbed the baby who was still
dripping with blood and dashed off. My wife was not yet conscious of
what was going on as she battled for survival after the nurses had
administered her with some injection to stop the bleeding. So, I rushed
to the maternity. When I got there, the whole place was locked; I went
round knocking at the windows until someone opened. When they narrated
how gunmen carried out their operation and took my baby away, I took my
wife and went straight home.
"When I later came back to the maternity, soldiers had besieged the
arena. After asking questions, the soldiers picked the five nurses and I
told them that my wife was still bleeding and appealed to them to allow
one nurse to attend to her and they obliged me. After some time,
policemen came and asked us what happened and I told them what
transpired. Then, they asked me to come to the station in the morning
and report the matter officially.
They asked me and I directed them to the home of the owner of the
maternity and they left. In the morning, I was attending to my wife and
children when they came and asked me why I had not come to the station
as they directed me. Then, I told them that I was still attending to my
wife and children and would soon be with them. Shortly after, I went to
Afugiri Police Station to make an entry. On getting there, the policemen
who came to my house earlier were not present so I waited for about
four hours before they came back as I was told that they went to Umuosu,
the home of the owner of the maternity.
I told the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) what I knew about the
matter. When he asked why I left the maternity I told him that I went to
feed my children and look after my wife who was still down. After
another two hours, I told them that I was going to eat and see how my
wife and children were doing. As I was speaking with him, he ordered
that I should be kept behind the counter. My brother who came with me
had to go and buy malt and snacks for me to eat because I was already
famished. “Then the owner of the maternity, Mrs. Dan Mbakwe and her
husband came with my Sister- in-Law. About 4pm, I asked them what my offence was and why I should not be allowed to
go home and see my family, but the policemen kept mute. After some time,
they started intimidating and telling me that I was the number one
suspect in the case and that I would soon be taken to see the
Commissioner of Police and I said ok. “At about 5 pm, they brought out a
Hilux van, put me, my sister in-law, Mrs. Mbakwe and her husband and
the securityman at the hospital in it and took us to the State CID
headquarters. At the State CID, I told them my story and they told me
that it was late for me to be released and that I would be locked up
till the next day.
They asked me to pull off my dress and then hauled my sister and me
in-law into cell. But they kept Mrs. Mbakwe, her husband and the
securityman at the counter. Then they all left and handed over to
another set of policemen on duty. “In the morning, just before people
started coming to work, they put us (the trio) into cell for about an
hour to look as if all of us had been inside the cell all night. I then
asked the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) what my offence was and he
told me that no one had come for me. He said that he had asked them to
bring N20, 000 for my bail. ‘Are you asking that amount of money from
some one who had been passing through such a trauma?’ I asked the man
who came for me later – Chief Ukaobasi.
I told him to look into my trouser pocket at the counter, maintaining
that I had N8, 000 inside it. He found the money intact, added N2, 000
to it and paid the police with a promise to bring a balance of N5, 000
if they released me. On Thursday, they released me to go home. I then
borrowed N5, 000 from a neigbour and sent to them to bring the total sum
to N15, 000. But by I pm on that Thursday, the owner of the hospital
and the security man were released. That is what I’m passing through. “I
wonder why I should be made to go through this after my baby had been
kidnapped and my wife left at a point of death.
“The name of the lady who signed my bail bond is Chioma. I ran to the
police to help me because I had nobody and the police threw me into
cell and turned me into a suspect instead of helping me to look for my
stolen child. I am calling on the relevant authorities to come to my
rescue. I have no one to fight for me,” he lamented. When contacted on
phone, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor, who was
shocked said he was not aware of the matter.
“Where did this happen; I’m not aware of this incident; I have to
find out,” the CP replied. When Daily Sun visited the maternity along
Nkwoegwu road in Ohuhu. It was under lock and key. Daily Sun also
visited the home of the Mbakwes, owners of the maternity at Umuosu,
Okauga and did not find any body at home for comments.