The house at No. 3 Anyamele Street, off Nicholas Avenue, in Umungasi area of Aba, doubled as a charity foundation called Cross Foundation International. Obodoechi said the women were kept there till they delivered and then were paid N50, 000 before they were sent away. Their babaies however, stayed back and were sold to people across the country.
Run by one Dr Hyacinth who was also arrested, the foundation was duly registered with Ministry of Women Affairs.
Hyacinth said he did not see himself as somebody doing anything illegal. According to reports, he said the first time he was arrested in 2004 by the police, he went to court against the police and NAPTIP and was awarded N4million damages, which he said the authorities were yet to pay to him.
During a press briefing, it was said that the victims were usually introduced to the centre by their close relatives and friends, including a mother who did not want her husband to know of the pregnancy of her daughter.
“It is unfortunate that some persons hide under the cover of Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to perpetrate various forms of illegal activities,” Obodoechi lsaid, urging members of the public to desist from encouraging pregnant ladies to go to baby factories for whatever reason, whether financial or otherwise.