A self-styled doctor, Olawale Omolaja, has been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly selling a week-old baby without the mother’s consent.
He was arrested with the couple, Dele and Radiat Onogbile, who took the baby, after paying N136,000, as advance.
The suspects were nabbed after the couple’s landlady at Mile 12 discovered that the woman had a new born baby without being pregnant.
The surprised landlady was said to have notified the Ketu Police Division of the suspicious presence of a new born baby in the couple’s home.
Upon interrogation, it was discovered that Omolaja, billed the couple N300,000 for the baby, whose mother allegedly kept in his care.
Although the baby’s mother, Idiat Babatunde, who claimed she was a student at the Offa Polytechnic in Kwara State, said she gave Omolaja her baby in order to go and complete her clearance in school, The Nation gathered that she knew about the sale of her child.
Idiat, 39, alleged that she left the baby in Omolaja’s care because he’s a doctor and a friend to her husband.
It was gathered that Idiat collected N70,000 from the 136,000 before leaving for school.
She was said to have given the baby up because her supposed husband, Akiola, abandoned her after impregnating her and relocated to Rivers State.
Unable to fend for the child a week after it was born, she handed over the baby to Omolaja, who has been the Onogbiles’ doctor since 2009.
The Nation gathered that the couple’s marriage was at the brink of collapse as a result of childlessness, and that they were separated until the baby was handed over to them on September 14.
But Idiat denied giving up her baby or collecting any money, stating that she could not carry the child to school because it would have been difficult for her to cope.
She claimed she still had a missing script and had no place of her own, adding that she always called Omolaja to check on the child.
She said: “I gave birth in September 5 and on September 13, I gave the baby to Dr. Omolaja because I needed to go back to school in order to complete my clearance so that I can go for NYSC with the next batch.
“I gave him the baby because I was having issues with my husband and we have been separated. I planned to spend two weeks in school and two weeks in Lagos.
“But that same week that I went to school, I received a call that I should come and identify my baby at Ketu police station. I was surprised because I did not know what my baby could be doing in Ketu.
“I stay at Ipaja with my cousin and he (Omolaja) stays in Ipaja too. My husband is a driver and since we had accommodation problem, he has moved to Port Harcourt.
“So, I called my husband and told him. He said he would come to Lagos since it concerned his baby.
“So, I quickly left school and came to Lagos and that was how I knew that he sold my baby for N300,000 and that they were caught because the landlady of the people who bought the baby suspected something was wrong.”
But the Onogbiles said they were shocked when the mother of the child surfaces.
Mrs. Onogbile, 35, said she and her husband repeatedly asked Omolaja about the mother of the child but he told them not to worry.
“I have known him for many years now. He is the one treating me. since I got married in 2009, I have been having miscarriage and it was causing problem in my marriage.
“He used to tell us to adopt but my husband never liked the idea. In fact, I have even moved out of my husband’s house and was living on my own.
“It was the baby that brought us together again. He told me and my husband about the baby and that we should adopt her. We asked where the parents of the baby are but he said we should not worry about the parents.
“So, we asked for adoption documents and he said he would bring it. We paid N136,000. I brought half and my husband brought the other half. We agreed for N300,000,” she said.
However, Omolaja claimed that he did not sell the baby and only wanted the couple to adopt her.
He claimed he did not collect the money from them, but asked them to hold it so that he could take them to Alausa for the processing of relevant ‘adoption’ papers.
Omolaja said Idiat handed over the baby to him because she could not take care of the child, adding that he wanted the couple, who had the means, to take care of her.
He said: “I did not sell the baby. It was adoption paper I wanted them to go and do. Idiat left the baby in my care and she was aware of the adoption.
“I did not collect any money from them. I told them to hold N130,000 and follow me to Alausa so that we can do the documents.
“I am not a doctor, I am a trado-medical person. I don’t have any hospital. We did everything in my house. I knew the couple (Onogbiles) while we were at Oshodi. But Idiat and her husband are my family friends.”
Briefing reporters on the development, the Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni said the suspects – Omolaja and the couple who bought the baby- would be charged to court after the holiday.