The Anambra State Women and Social Welfare Commissioner, Hon. Ify Obinabo has sealed off Arrow of God Community Children’s Home in Onitsha over allegations of illegal adoption and sales of children.
The orphanage was sealed off on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, after an investigative report by one investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo, made rounds on social media and local television stations alleging that the state ministry of women and social welfare is involved in an illegal adoption of a baby girl alongside one of her registered homes in the state.
Reacting to the news, Hon Obinabo first invited the founder of the home Rev D. C Ogo to her office in Awka which she did not honor.
In the light of the above, the Women Affairs boss in collaboration with the security operatives stormed the orphanage home located at 33 Nkwelle and sealed the home.
Speaking immediately after sealing off the place, Hon Obinabo noted that the ministry is not aware of any adoption with the Arrow of God Orphanage home even as she explained that the adoption process never went through the ministry.
She went ahead to cite some of the irregularities of the said adoption to include absence of three signatories which must be hers, the Head of child and that of the Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
She also stated that since she assumed office, all application for court order of adoption or care goes through the designated Children, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Magistrate court in Awka as against the Nnewi court order presented in the documentary.
“This is so because, the fundamental goal is to preserve the best interest of the child,” she added.
The Commissioner warned other children’s home operators involved in illegal adoption to desist forthwith or face the consequences stating that the state government is all out to clamp down on operators who don’t follow the stipulated standardized operational practices and processes in the state.
She therefore charged intending adoptive parents to be careful as unsuspecting persons now parade themselves as ministry’s consultants who helps in facilitating adoption reminding the general public that the state ministry of women and social welfare have not engaged the services of any consultant.
She used the opportunity to urge everyone to always report any suspicious activity found in any orphanage homes to the ministry even as she assured of making sure Rev DC Ogo is brought to book in no distant time.
20 children were rescued from the orphanage home, including a newborn while the founder and her staff are currently at large.
The children are within the ages of 1 year to 17 years and they are 10 boys, 9 girls and a newborn.
The children are currently in the care of the state government as necessary steps are underway to trace and reunite them with their different families.