A Cameroonian refugee reportedly sold her baby for N70k (GHC1062), months after she escaped the crisis in Cameroon to seek asylum in Nigeria at Adagom refugee camp in Cross River state.
The 20-year-old mother identified as Claudia, agreed to sell her baby after a barber at the camp approached her with an offer from an unidentified buyer who was seeking a child to adopt.
“The boy that bought the baby told the barber to find someone to stay with him. So, the boy agreed to help him get someone,” Charles Ojon, leader of the refugees in Adagom camp said.
“He met the girl and explained things to her. It was when the girl came that they later agreed she will sell the baby to the man. She followed him to a hotel in town where they stayed till the next morning before he settled her and paid her the money.
“I remember when she came to the camp pregnant, she delivered shortly after she arrived here but has been struggling to survive.”
The Cable reported that the sad act was uncovered following an argument that ensued after Victor insisted on taking the lion share from the N70k after the deal was concluded. It was learnt that Victor told her she will take N30,000 while he collects N40,000, a suggestion the lady protested against while also pointing out that she is the mother of the child.
“The barber told her she will take N30,000 while he collects N40,000,” he said, adding that the woman protested.
“She said no, that it is her child; so she will take the N40,000 while the guy takes N30,000. So it was when they were trying to fight that we saw them.
“The police came and they found out the money. Already, the other man had left with the baby. The barber was called and both of them were taken to the police station but he was later released.
“The money was collected from her and kept. They have been calling the guy but he is not picking. We told him there is a job we want him to do but he said he has already gone to Calabar and up till today, the police are looking for him” Elvis Manget, one of the refugees on the security team of the camp said.
Claudia blamed her action on hunger and hardship after being interrogated by police officers that arrested her alongside Victor.
“When the police came, said she sold the child because of hardship; that there is no food or anything to feed the child,” Ujom said.
“That was just before they paid us for July. Then, everywhere was dry. A lot of us have been selling our things and using them to settle debt.”
The untold hardship Claudia has reportedly faced since arriving the refugee camp in October 2018, was corroborated by another refugee who recounted how a resident of Ogoja refused paying the 20-year-old mother after having sex with her.
“A Nigerian had earlier been here to take her to his house, they slept but he did not pay her after their business
“So she came to report the matter to us, that was when I first saw her and the kid. We were sent to go and bring the man and the matter was later settled.”
The camp coordinator and an official of the state’s SEMA identified simply as Andy, confirmed the incident and further revealed that the police have already launched an investigation.
I know of such case but the police is handling it now” he said.