The Rivers State Police Command has arraigned three persons in court for child trafficking.
The accused persons are Mirabel Johnson, Awolowo Noble and Harrison Ada.
They were brought to a magistrate court in Port-Harcourt on Tuesday, 2nd of April for trial.
While Mirabel Johnson, aged 20, female, and Awolowo Noble, aged 19, male, were brought to court for selling a two-week-old baby whose mother was Mirabel Johnson, one of the accused, Harrison Ada, a 23-year-old female and third defendant in the suit, was brought to the court for stealing the amount of money for which the baby was sold.
It was gathered that the two-week-old baby was sold for N150,000.00 by its mother with the help of one Awolowo Noble, who is second defendant in the suit.
It was also gathered that the baby was sold to a woman in Aba, Abia State.
When the charges were read to them in court on Tuesday, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The case is between the Commissioner of Police in the state and the three accused persons. The Police Prosecutor in the matter is Police Inspector Ochogwu Riverside Wilberforce with the charge number of the case being PMC/976C/2019.
The counsel for the defence, C.O. Nwodo, applied for bail for the three accused persons and the application for bail was granted by the presiding magistrate of the court, Snr. Magistrate Lenu Baridam.
However, the magistrate refused bail for Mirabel Johnson, mother of the two-week-old baby and first defendant in the suit and adjourned the case to 17th of April for hearing and for consideration of bail for the first defendant.
The four-count charges read to the accused persons said: “That you Mirabel Johnson 'f', Awolowo Noble 'm', and others at large on the 19th day of March, 2019 at Odani Akpajo, Port-Harcourt in Port-Harcourt Magistrate District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Child trafficking and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516A of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.
“That you Mirabel John 'f', Awolowo Noble 'm' and others now at large on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did traffic in person by selling baby Mirabel Johnson 'f', aged two weeks old to one Ada 'f' surname unknown and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 30(1)(3) of the Child's Right Act, Cap 50 LFN 2003.
“That you Harrison Ada 'f' and others now at large on the 20th day of March, 2019 at Slaughter, Port-Harcourt in the Port-Harcourt Magisterial District did conspire amongst yourselves to wit: Stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516A of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria,1999.
“That you Harrison Ada 'f' and others now at large on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did steal the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (150,000.00) being the proceeds of the sale of the baby, property of Mirabel Johnson 'f' and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 (2) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999”.
The three accused persons will be back in court on the adjourned day.