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Monday, May 20, 2024

Anambra Court Remands Two Reverend Sisters over Alleged Fraudulent Adoption, Illegal Dealings on Children

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Two Reverend Sisters of the Roman Catholic Church have been remanded in police custody by the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State capital.

The remanding came on Monday, following the arraignment of the Reverend Sisters — Angela Onyenachi Ibe (aged 42) and Chiemelie Jacinta Yvonne (Mother-General, aged 41), on a-4 count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, punishable under sections 495(a) and 386 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 36, Volume II, the Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991, and illegal dealings on Children, as well as, fraudulent adoption, punishable under section 30(2)(b) of the Child’s Rights Law of Anambra State, 2004.

According to Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, the media aide to the Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Ify Obinabo; the defendants, to the satisfaction of the Honourable Court, each pleaded not guilty of the offenses when the charge was read to them.

“Responding to questions during the arraignment, the two Reverend Sisters stated that they both hailed from Imo State, and belonged to a Catholic Congregation, known as the St. Francis of Compassion, also based in Imo State; adding that they were staff members and attendants at the Sam Damian Community Children’s and Old People’s Home, located at Obosi in Anambra State,” Ikeanyionwu said.

She added the Counsel to the defendants, in a bail application on their behalves, prayed the Honourable Court to grant bail to the Reverend Sisters, on the ground that they are Reverend Sisters of the Roman Catholic Church, and would religiously attend their trials, whenever called upon to appear before the Court.

“Delivering a Ruling on the bail application, the presiding Chief Magistrate, Genevieve C. Osakwe, described the ground of bail application as very weak, and unknown to Law.

“The Honourable Court frowned at and vehemently bemoaned what she termed, the rising cases of illegal adoption and dealings on children, in Anambra State, and called on the security agencies in the state, especially, the police authorities, to extend their search, arrest and prosecution of all persons involved in the management of illegal Community Children’s and Old People’s Homes, across the state.

“The case was adjourned further to the 29th day of May and 26th day of June, 2024, for definite hearing, and the Court ordered that the defendants be remanded at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Awka,” she said.

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