A man from Akwa Ibom State, Magnus Nsikak, 40, has shown himself to be an unworthy stonehearted parent with a twisted mind.
Nsikak was alleged to have conspired with his wife, Ruth, 28, to sell their three sons, three-day-old Samuel, five-year-old Ubong and 10-year-old Ekpo in Ikot-Abaji Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, to a trafficker in Aba, Abia State, through a nurse in the city.
But Ruth vehemently denied any knowledge of the evil deed, saying that she was actually deceived by her husband about the true status of the children, who she had been led to believe were being cared for by a member of their extended family in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The couple are now in the custody of the Family Support Unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, where they are being interrogated.
As Sunday Sun learnt from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, ongoing investigation has yielded a positive result as the eldest son, Ekpo has been recovered while efforts are being intensified by detectives to track down and recover the other two.
Muazu disclosed that the cookie began to crumble when the younger brother of Ruth became curious about the sudden absence of the children of his sister.
He asked the brother-in-law, Magnus, about them and got less-than-satisfactory answer from him. His further probe led to an altercation between them. Magnus later confessed his evil deed. Ruth’s brother was incensed by the horrific thing he heard and a fight broke out between him and Magnus. He was said to have beaten his in-law black and blue.
In the course of questioning to ascertain the facts, Muazu explained that the truth tumbled out and she was detained. Her husband was also arrested and the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Uyo, Akwa State capital, from where the matter was handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking Section of the SCID on November 2, 2017.
Then November 9, Magnus led detectives to Aba, Abia State, to arrest the nurse, Stella Uchendu, 40, who arranged the illegal deal. She in turn took detectives to the home of Joy Ikechukwu, where Ekpo was recovered.
Muazu added that police detectives also arrested another suspect, Eucharia Daniel, who bought the three-day-old baby for N300,000 naira from Uchendu. He said that Uchendu passed on the baby to Joy Ikechukwu, who resold the newborn child to Judith Solomon Charles, for N500,000.
Sunday Sun further learnt that on the day that police detectives brought Joy to her home, Judith was said to have slumped in shock. Detectives quickly rushed her to a hospital, where she died.
On what could have led him into the evil deed, Magnus told Sunday Sun that he was beset by adversity.
His words: “My first wife and I had six children. She had mental problem and later died. Then I got married to Ruth in 2007 and we had four children. This thing happened when I had financial problem. I sold my three sons and left our daughter, Favour, who is five years old. I sold each of them for N50,000 to Stella Uchendu. Whenever my wife’s uncle and other people asked me about the children, I always told them that I took the children to people who will help them. Later I confessed to my wife’s uncle that I had sold the three children. That was when he fought with me and beat me very well before neighbours rescued me. My wife reported to the police.”
Magnus who hails from Ikot-Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa-Ibom, added that his wife knew that he was selling the children. After selling the three-day-old baby, he gave her N20, 000 naira. The baby which was bought by Judith is yet to be recovered.
In her own account, Ruth, the wife, confirmed that she married Magnus in 2007, but denied any complicity in the sales of the couple’s children.
She said: “My husband didn’t tell me that he sold our three sons. I gave birth to four children – three sons and a girl, Favour, who is five years old. My husband only told me that he took the three children to his uncle in Port Harcourt to train them. One day, he dialed a number and gave the phone to me to speak with his sister, who he said was taking care of my three children.
I remember that in September, this year, after I gave birth to a baby boy in the church, on a Thursday, my husband took the baby from me on Sunday of that weekend and sold it. My husband and the nurse deceived me by saying that the baby and I tested positive to HIV and so the baby was taken away. Later my husband gave me N20,000 to eat food and recover from the pregnancy.” She stated.
The nurse, Uchendu, in a chat with Sunday Sun admitted knowing Magnus, who she said was dealing in scraps. She added that Magnus had informed her that he could no longer cater for his three sons and expressed interest in selling them off. She agreed to buy the three sons.