The Nigerian Police has rescued 19 pregnant women who had been kidnapped and raped from properties in Lagos dubbed “baby factories”. Most of the women, aged between 15 and 28, were abducted and forcibly impregnated so their babies could later be sold. According to reports, the girls had been promised employment as domestic workers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. Instead of getting the jobs they were promised, they were held in the baby factories, and forced into sex slavery.
They were also forced to bear children which were then sold. Police officers, acting on a tip off, raided four properties/baby factories across Lagos in September, 2020, and recovered 19 women and four children. The woman who ran the operation, known as Madam Oluchi, escaped shortly before the raids. Ms Oluchi is suspected of trafficking girls from south east regions to Lagos. A police spokesperson said officers had arrested two other women, who worked as nurses in the properties, despite having no medical training. “Two suspects, namely Happiness Ukwuoma and Sherifat Ipeya were arrested in connection with the case,” a police spokesperson said.
According to the spokesman, the suspects did not receive formal medical training but operate as nurses. “The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers.Once the girls had given birth, their children were taken to one of three further properties, where they were sold to buyers Ms. Oluchi is suspected of selling male infants for 500,000 naira (£1,121) and females for 300,000 naira (£672). A manhunt has been launched for the suspect, who is a mother-of-five.
According to one of the rescued women, she borrowed money to come to Lagos after her friend had informed her of a job in Lagos. Said she: “My friend called me to say that someone was looking for house help. I borrowed money to come to Lagos,” one of the rescued women said, “One woman came to pick me at the park and brought me here. The next day, I was summoned by our madam, who told me that I would not leave the premises until next year.
“Being a newcomer, my customers only came at night to have sex with me. “So far, I have slept with seven different men before I discovered I was pregnant. I was told that after delivery, I would be paid handsomely, and that if I decided to leave after then, I could. My pregnancy is in its second trimester.” The police spokesperson said authorities were working to resettle the rescued young women.