A 52-year-old old female pastor, Charity Okpara, on Thursday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a four-month-old baby girl from her church member.
Okpara, resident of No. 10, Abiodun Kayode St., Araromi Bus Stop, Ojo, in Lagos, was arraigned on four count bordering on conspiracy, unlawful abduction and child trafficking.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Police Prosecutor, ASP Ezekiel Ayorinde, alleged that the defendant stole the four-month-old baby, Princess Oluchi, daughter of one Mrs. Blessing Okon.
Ayorinde told the court that the defendant committed the offences with others still at large on November 5 at No. 5, Kayode St., Ajangbadi in Lagos.
The prosecutor submitted that the defendant “fraudulently took away the baby from her mother.”
“All efforts made to locate the baby proved abortive,” he said.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. B. O. Osunsanmi, admitted the defendant to a bail of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Osunsanmi ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, with an evidence of two-year tax payment to the Lagos State Government and should reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
NAN reports that the offence violates Sections 141, 277(1) 277(b) and 411 of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2015 (revised).
The magistrate adjourned the case until February 24 for substantive hearing.