Mr. Okechukwu Ibekwe, 30, has admitted using his five-month old son as a collateral for N400,000 loan. He did it with the permission of his wife Chidera. He told the police that he pledged his son to one Chinelo, an Ihiala, Anambra State-based money lender, to raise money to finance his business after he was evicted from his shop at Ladipo, Lagos. He also lost his commercial bus to inferno.
Ibekwe said: “I was a mechanic until the building that houses my shop was sold and I was evicted. I was idle for sometimes, then someone gave me a bus which I used for transport but the bus was consumed by fire.“Things were very hard and I could not fend for my family. It was at the point of difficulty that my wife suggested that we should go and borrow money from one Chinelo. She’s the one who knows Chinelo.
“She suggested that we should give the baby to Chinelo and collect money from her. We agreed that I will collect N25,000 so that I can travel, while N150,000 will be paid to her account. That was how I took our son and travelled and I collected my own money. But because her share was not paid early, we started quarreling. I was surprised that while I was still in the village, a lawyer called me and I came to Lagos and was arrested. “I do not know what Chinelo does, I don’t know if she sells children. I did not sell my son to her. We used him to borrow money and it was my wife’s idea. I do not know where my wife is. Chinelo’s husband has been arrested,” said Ibekwe.
However, Ibekwe’s story did not tally with the Lagos State Police Command’s account. According to the Police, it traced and arrested Ibekwe in Anambra State following his wife’s complaint at the Iba Police Post, Iba Town.
The incident, said the Police, occurred on December 8, 2015, at 23, Shinaba Street, Agboroko, Iba Town, but the woman reported the matter three days after. Fatai Owoseni, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, said that Ibekwe’s wife reported that her husband sent her on errand only to sell the child before she got back.
By Dike Onwuamaeze