A sex worker, Grace Onome, told an Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court, Lagos State, on Wednesday, that she sold her two-year-old baby, Farani Ahmed, for N20,000 in order to reduce her financial burden.
Onome, who hails from Jesse Town, Delta State, said she lives in a hotel located at mobile area of Badagry, working as a prostitute.
She sold her baby to another sex worker, who is still at large for N20,000. It was during her illicit sex trade, that she discovered she was pregnant and later gave birth to little Ahmed. The good news about the pregnancy and subsequent birth of the baby is that she knows his biological father. The name of the baby’s father is also Ahmed.
But the joy of knowing the father of her baby died after the man disappeared, leaving the caring of the baby to her.
According to her, the financial burden of taking care of the baby became too much for her to bear.
She recounted that she was living in Delta State, trading in clothes until her friend, Juliet brought her to Lagos for prostitution.
The said Juliet had been living and working overseas before she returned to Nigeria.
Onome said that she was working in the hotel as a prostitute, when Ahmed met her. He took her from the hotel and she became his live-in lover. It was after she had little Ahmed, that Ahmed, her lover, changed. He took to beating her at the slightest provocation. Onome said that she reported Ahmed’s abuse to police, but nothing was allegedly done about it.
Onome said: “The burden of caring for Ahmed didn’t allow me to concentrate on my prostitution work.”
Recollecting how she sold her baby, Onome said: “I sold Ahmed to another sex worker. Her name is Endurance. I slept with Ahmed and got pregnant for him. I gave birth to my baby on February 5, 2014. Later, Ahmed left us.
“He couldn’t provide for the baby’s welfare. I was in deep suffering. One of my friends, Endurance, who used to operate in the hotel, told me that she has a sister who had been married for six years, but hadn’t been able to conceive.
“She said her sister appeared to be barren and would do anything to adopt a child. She said I would be properly catered to. One day, Endurance came and asked us to follow her so that she could buy something for me and the baby. She bought clothes, shoes, handbag, face towel and Dettol for us. After that, she gave me N20,000.”
Onome said Endurance had also arranged for a taxi. The taxi driver came to take little Ahmed and Endurance. It was at that point that Onome asked Endurance to give her, her home address, in case she wanted to come and check on Ahmed. Endurance said it was okay. Onome said that immediately she left to buy juice for Ahmed and Suya, Endurance disappeared.
Onome said: “Before I came back, they had zoomed off. I tried to get her number to call, but I was not successful. When I went back to the hotel, other prostitutes laughed at me. They said I sold my baby.”
It was also said that Endurance promised to get Onome her own apartment and ensured she was financially alright for the rest of her life, if she would get pregnant again and have another baby.
Onome’s present lover asked her the whereabouts of little Ahmed, but she couldn’t offer any explanation. He reported the matter to the State Investigations Bureau (SIB) in Badagry Division.
Later, the matter was transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department, (SCID), Panti, Yaba, before she was arraigned.
Prosecutor, Inspector D. Ighodalo told the court that Onome sold her daughter to be treated as slave, according to him, which is punishable under Section 274(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos.
Ighodalo said: “You knowingly live wholesomely or in part, on earnings of prostitution and committed an offence punishable under Section 142(A) of laws of Lagos, 2011.”
However, the Magistrate, Mrs. A.O Awogboro, admitted Onome to bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one responsible surety.
The matter was adjourned till November 21.