Arrows of God Orphanage and Its  Battle to Undo the Stigma of Child Trafficking

David-Chyddy Eleke reports that Arrows of God Orphanage is battling to redeem its name after allegation of sales of babies kept in its care

Last year, the Lagos and Anambra State governments closed down Arrows of God Orphanage Homes in both states. Investigative Reporter, ‘Fisayo Soyombo had disguised himself, together with a lady he hired, and they presented themselves as a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Runsewe, who needed a baby for adoption. 

When the story eventually broke, the home was accused of sales of babies and was subsequently closed, while its proprietor, Rev Chinwe D. Ogo, a clergy woman, was later arrested by authorities of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Since the incident happened, Rev Ogo,  who is presently standing trial,  has insisted that she is totally free of allegations of sales of baby or child trafficking, stating that her orphanage remained one among those approved both in Anambra and Lagos State.

She also decried the level of media trial she has had to pass through, stating that Soyombo, who posed as Mr Runsewe was made to meet all the requirements needed to adopt the child, while appealing to NAPTIP to unseal its orphanage and save children from the home, who she referred to as Arrows  Children, from trauma. She said since the ordeal in August last year, the children been scattered in diverse homes.

A petition by Ogo to the Director General of NAPTIP, which was obtained by THISDAY, and dated 15th February, 2024 read in part: “During the month of August 2023, we saw on Television and read on Social Media News platforms, with shock, disbelief and amazement news sponsored by one Fisayo Soyombo

alias Mr Runsewe who claimed to be an Agent of NAPTIP accusing Arrows of God Orphanage of selling babies.

“This unwarranted attack on the good reputation of Arrows of God Orphanage and Children’s Home, employing false pretences, forgery, lies and misrepresentation of facts has resulted

in; Subjecting myself and seven members of staff of Arrows to humiliation, trauma, shame and detention by NAPTIP officials, resulting in untold hardship, suffering, loss and waste, trauma, not only for me, staff and family, but also for Arrows Children. 

“This has also led to hunger, confusion and disorientation for many Arrows

Children who are still scattered in various places inside Lagos and many as far as we know are still out of School, defeating the purpose of providing a home and a happy, progressive

life for the children.

“May we also inform that NAPTIP is aware that Arrows of God Orphanage is one of the three government appointed and approved shelters for social expectant mothers in Anambra State.

” Arrows of God Orphanage and children’s home has never bought or sold a baby or child. We have submitted all relevant documentation on Arrows of God Orphanage Registration,

Licences, Operational Guidelines as obtained from Supervising Ministries in Anambra and Lagos States to your office in Awka. We have complied with all known Regulations and forwarded our monthly reports to the Supervising Ministries, DSS and SIB.”

Baby Oriade and Her Adoption

The baby who Soyombo, posing as Mr Runsewe had sought to adopt was said to be named Baby Oriade. THISDAY gathered that Oriade was the child of a teenage girl, Miss Odenigbo delivered in 2019, but later handed over to Arrows of God Orphanage for caregiving. 

Documents sighted by THISDAY showed that both the Enugu State government where the teenage mother hailed from, and its Anambra counterparts where the teenage mother lived, and where Arrows of God Orphanage is located had consented that the baby be kept in the orphanage.

Ogo insisted that her adoption documents were duly forwarded to Anambra Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, complying with normal procedures of adoption, and that there is a court order issued with regard to the approval of the adoption of the baby. 

Ogo said there was nothing to show that the documents provided by Mr Runsewe were forged. This reporter also sighted most of the documents provided by Runsewe to be able to meet up the standard for adoption of the baby. The documents included: Letter of introduction from Patrick and Rebecca Runsewe, both parents of Mr Paul Runsewe (Soyombo), duly stamped by Ogun State government, a letter of adoption by Paul Runsewe and his supposed wife; Chidinma Runsewe, letter of introduction by their village head, another by the pastor of their church, Faith Apostolic Gospel Ministry and a certificate of fitness among others.

Ogo claimed the document on face value looked real, and that Runsewe met the condition to adopt a baby. She said: “It is not the responsibility of Arrows of God to determine whether documents are genuine or forged, we interview and deal with facts presented by adoptive parents. We are generally busy caring for the children, we do not function as a security agency. 

“We forwarded and presented documents received to the Supervising Ministry. However, on the discovery that those documents were forged, another court order has been issued nullifying the adoption and has also ordered the return of Baby Oriade to Arrows of God Orphanage.

“We are well known, and our books and records are available for inspection.

This unwarranted anguish on the children, staff and our family has lasted six months and we request you,mo kindly use your good office to ask the commissioner, Lagos State

Ministry of Youth and Social Development to: unseal Arrows of God Orphanage branches in Aja and Obadore, Lagos, which were sealed on the 11th and 15th of August 2023 respectively, return the children forcefully removed from the branches of the orphanage on same day and comply with attached court order nullifying the adoption of Baby Oriade who was adopted under false pretences by the fake Mr Runsewe.

“The Court has ordered Baby Oriade’s return to Arrows Of God; Release with immediate effect the 3-year old son of Arrows of God cook, who was whisked away with Arrows Children. NAPTIP Awka branch has investigated this matter and has noted that Arrows complies with known guidelines, procedures, regulations and legal requirements as directed by the

supervising ministries. We plead with you and your office as a kind, fair and just law enforcement agency to take immediate action to ensure restitution.”

Pedigree of Arrows of God

Rev Ogo insisted that Arrows of God has had an untainted reputation as a Christian Orphanage for years until Soyombo came under false pretense to adopt one of its children. 

“We have successfully raised over 1,200 persons as university graduates, professionals, men and women with families etc, we would have been happy for NAPTIP to conduct a pre-invasion investigation into the activities of our home, and not a post invasion investigation, because of the unlucky incident of deceit by Soyombo.”

Reaction from Anambra government

Meanwhile, claims by Ogo that she had been absolved of blames by the Anambra Government could not be confirmed as efforts to reach the state commissioner for women and children’s Affairs, Hon Ify Obinabo proved abortive. 

Rev Ogo had in the wake of the breaking of the story been summoned to the office of the commissioner for Women Affairs, where the commissioner, Obinabo had disagreed with her on the procedures she went through to give out the child.

What Makes an Adoption Legal

In a previous interview with THISDAY, Obinabo had taken steps to explain the processes that every legal adoption must pass through. She had said: “First is that you must come to this ministry and apply that you want to adopt a child. When I get the application, I will now minute it to the head of the child unit.

” From there, we now start documentation when we see a child for you. Also, it is only here in this office that anyone is permitted to be handed over children that are legally adopted. The homes from where the children are to be adopted will bring them here after proper documentation.

“After that, we will send our officials for inspection. We must go to the home of the person where the child would be taken to, so that we make sure that the place is conducive, and also ensure that the reasons you gave for wanting to adopt a child are true. 

“Those are the investigations we do. In the case of the proprietor of Arrow of God Orphanage, she did not do any of these things. By the way, the woman is not supposed to handle anything like adoption. 

“For any adoption to be authentic, my signature and the signature of the permanent secretary of this ministry must be in the adoption document. Also the signature of the magistrate of our special court must also be on the adoption paper.

” You know Mr Governor opened a special court for us for speedy trial of matters relating to child issues. The signature of the magistrate has to be there. These three signatures must be there and if any of them is missing, then it is illegal.

“In the case of the Arrow of God Orphanage, my signature wasn’t there, that of the permanent secretary was not there, they did not go to our special court to obtain the consent of the magistrate, they also failed to bring the baby here, which is the only place that handing over children is done. She did everything by herself, and no inspection was done.”


We have successfully raised over 1,200 persons as university graduates, professionals, men and women with families etc, we would have been happy for NAPTIP to conduct a pre-invasion investigation into the activities of our home, and not a post invasion investigation, because of the unlucky incident of deceit by Soyombo

Related Articles