Two Social Workers In Court Over Baby Swap In Ondo

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Two Social Workers In Court Over Baby Swap In Ondo

Two officials of the Ondo Ministry of Women Affairs, Sarumi Adeyemi and Florence Bosede Orisamehin, have been dragged before an Akure High Court, over the disappearance and swapping of the child of a mentally challenged woman in their care.

The two accused were said to have exchanged the missing baby for another baby while the mother of the missing baby, Deborah Iretioluwa Olorundare, was receiving treatment after losing her sanity after delivering the baby.

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Adeyemi and Orisamehin who are senior officials at the Ministry of Women Affairs were said to have swapped the baby of the mentally deranged woman with an imbecile male baby

According to the charge sheet, the Prosecution Officer, Bunmi Koyenikan stated that the mother of the missing child was destitute who delivered the child but was hit with insanity, and the child was brought to the ministry pending the period of her treatment.

Koyenikan explained that Olorundare was taken to a psychiatric hospital where she was receiving treatment while the baby was put in the care of the officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs.

She, however, said trouble started when the mentally deranged woman demanded her child and an imbecile male baby was presented to her but she insisted that she gave birth to a baby girl and not a boy.

A petition was forwarded to the Department of State Service (DSS), and upon investigation, the existence of a child trafficking syndicate that specialises in the sale of newborn babies was uncovered by the security operatives.

It was however revealed that the baby delivered by the mentally deranged woman was a female and not male contrary to the claims of the two defendants.

According to an investigation, the female baby girl had been swapped with a sick baby boy by the two defendants and it was discovered that the baby boy is an imbecile.

The baby girl was said to have been adopted by one Mrs. Toyin Olabiwonninu, who had traveled out of the country after paying N1m to the defendants.

A staff of the Ministry, Rosemary Ali who followed the second defendant to the hospital in Ondo told the Court that she knew about the atrocity of the defendants when she accompanied her to St. Theresa Orphanage home in February 2021 to check on the baby of the psychiatric patient, only to discovered that the female child had been put up for adoption and swapped the baby with a baby boy.

Ali explained that she tried to warn the defendants about their wrongdoing but said the second defendant threatened her, attributing the threat to the reason he had to lie in her first statement at the State CID that the baby was a male child.

A medical practitioner in the Psychiatric Hospital, Akure, Akinnuoye Akinwumi, also said that there was an agreement between the management of the hospital and the staff of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development that the baby should be brought from time to time to allow bonding/attachment of mother/baby.

He, however, testified that for over four(4) months after the mother of the baby was admitted at the facility, none of the staff of the Ministry of Women Affairs visit the hospital or bring the baby despite pressures and frequent calls from the hospital.

He said he sent some social workers to the ministry in order to find out the truth of the matter over of the swapping of the baby, but said the officials of the ministry took them to a private orphanage along Ondo road where an imbecile male baby was given to the patient.

He said the mentally deranged woman who had regained her sanity rejected the imbecile baby boy given to her, insisting that she delivered a baby girl, while it was discovered that the two defendants had earlier approached the family of the mentally deranged woman to sign documents that they don’t need the baby again.

Akinwumi said this prompted the facility to write a petition to the Commissioner for Health who eventually reported the case to the police for investigation and necessary action.

It was discovered that Olabiwonninu who eventually adopted the baby in July 2020, came to Akure zonal welfare office to adopt a baby in May 2020, being a childless woman, and adopted the baby the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development office, Oke-Eda, Akure after fulfilling all necessary formalities.

The two defendants were exposed in February 2021, while it was discovered that Olabiwonninu had fled the shores of Nigeria with the baby and showed no signs of returning anytime soon.

However, the hearing is billed to commence in the suit before Justice A. A Fasanmi of Ondo State High court 6 on November 11, 2021.

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