Members of a baby factory syndicate operating in Umuocha village of Awa autonomous community in Oguta council area of Imo State have attacked a team of four policemen for daring to rescue a stolen child from them.
The incident happened last weekend when the policemen on a stop and search were informed that some men had stolen a baby boy from his mother on gun point along Onitsha Road.
The four policemen were said to have given the alleged baby thieves a hot chase in their patrol vehicle as the suspects ran towards Awa Community.
The policemen were said to have traced the men and the baby to a hospital in Umuocha village.
When they stormed the hospital, the policemen were said to have been startled with the discovery of the several children and many pregnant women of different sizes quartered in the hospital apparently used for child trafficking.
It was gathered that as the policemen made to ask some questions, the owner of the hospital, one Innocent Onuoha, allegedly mobilised scores of the youths of the village, who surrounded the building, demobilised the police vehicle and attacked the four policemen in the hospital with different objects, inflicting various degrees of injuries on them.
It took the intervention of the member representing Oguta State constituency in the state house of assembly, Frank Ugboma, for the policemen to escape from the situation.
According to the lawmaker, he got a distressed call that some youths in the community had attacked some police personnel who went to effect arrest of suspected members of a baby factory syndicate.
“When I got that call in the night, I quickly mobilised and moved to the scene of the incident that night last week.
“On approaching the place, two of the policemen who managed to escape to the bush, came out from the bush on siting my police escort sirens. They narrated how they chased the suspects from the road to the village and how they were attacked by the youths.
“They told me that immediately they stormed the illegal baby factory disguised as hospital, the owner raised an alarm and the youths came out and started resisting the police from arresting the man, who hails from Awo Omamma and in the midst of the melee, they overpowered the policemen and destroyed their vehicle that night while the policemen managed to escape with their rifles that night to avoid being killed or killing anyone,” Ugboma said.
When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, Orlando Ikeokwu confirmed the incident, saying that the police arrested the owner of the baby factory but was released by the youths while one police officer, an inspector, sustained injuries in the process.
Ikeokwu, who also disclosed that no arrest has been made so far, added that the interim management chairman of Oguta local government area had promised to bring the suspect to the police.