NAPTIP Arraigns  Retired Army Lt. Col for Trading in Human Beings

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has arraigned Clara Ogo, an 83-year-old woman and founder of the renowned Arrow of God Orphanage in Anambra State for alleged buying and selling of human beings.

She was charged at the Federal High Court, Awka Judicial Division, presided over by Hon. Justice Hauwa Yilwa.

 Clara Ogo, a retired Nigerian Army Lieutenant Colonel and a nurse, owns the orphanage located at Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, with branches in Lagos State.

 A statement issued yesterday by the Communications Officer of NAPTIP, Vincent Adekoye, said the Arrow of God Orphanage came under scrutiny in 2023 after an investigative journalist exposed alleged illicit activities relating to illegal adoption and sales of babies linked to the orphanage.

 Adekoye said following these revelations, NAPTIP launched a comprehensive investigation resulting in Ogo’s arrest on October 3, 2023, within the premise of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Awka, Anambra State.

He further disclosed that the defendant was arraigned on a one-count charge, which states: “That you Ogo Chinwe Clara Deborah (F) 83 years old, of 66 Awka Road, Onitsha, Anambra State, and others (at large), on July 6, 2023, at the above address within the jurisdiction of this court, did buy and sell a baby (female) five months old, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Sections 21 of the trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”

Ogo was said to have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Subsequently the presiding Judge granted her bail with a bond of N1.3 million and two sureties in like sum, and thereafter remanded her at the Onitsha Correctional Facility pending the fulfillment of her bail conditions.

 The case has been adjourned to July 10, 2024, for trial, and her orphanage sealed

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