The 52-year old founder of Great Army of God Church, Pastor Mrs. Charity Okpara, has been arrested by the Gender Section of the Police Command in Lagos for selling a 7-month old baby belonging to one of her members, Mrs. Blessing Harrison.
P.M.EXPRESS reports that the incident happened at Abiodun Kayode Street, Shibiri area of Lagos, where the Church is located.
The little baby was sold to a child merchant, one Mrs. Happiness Ejikeme, 48, in Lagos, who in turn sold it to a 40-year old woman, Mrs. Mercy Nwokike, in Mbaukwu town, Anambra State.
The whole thing got exposed after the matter was reported to the Baale in the area, Chief Abadaih Adele, who then reported the matter to the Gender Section of the Police Command. The operatives moved into action and recovered the baby from Anambra State.
According to the mother of the baby, Mrs. Blessing, she had attended the Church before she got married and became pregnant. She said after she was delivered of the baby, Pastor Charity asked her to get prepared for them to go to mountain for prayer. She was instructed not to tell her husband and after the prayer that she will raise money for her to go back to her village in Akwa Ibom State to start a business.
Mrs. Blessing said that while she got prepared for the prayer, the Pastor collected her baby from her and handed over to a woman, who later turned out to be a child merchant, one Mrs. Happiness Ejikeme and she escaped.
She said when she did not see her baby, she raised alarm as the Pastor was forcing her to go back to her village. She then informed her husband, who contacted the Baale of the community.
Pastor Charity Okpara and the other accomplices namely Mrs. Happiness Ejikeme and Mercy Nwokike, were rounded up and paraded by the Police where they made confessional statements.
During interrogation, Pastor Charity admitted that she sold the baby for N350,000 to Mrs. Happiness and collected a commission of N25,000. She said that the mother of the baby, Mrs. Blessing was aware of the transaction but later changed her mind because she did not get all her money as promised her.
When she was asked why she did not give her the money when she was being taken to her village, Pastor Charity said that she kept the money in her account.
Mrs. Happiness Ejikeme also admitted that she bought the baby from Pastor Charity and paid her in full before they handed the baby to her and she in turn sold it to one Mrs. Mercy for N800,000. She said she did not tell the buyer that it was a stolen child.
This was confirmed by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana at the State Command. He said they were caught, interrogated and they confessed committing the crime and would be charged to Court after the conclusion of investigation. He said that the baby has been handed over to her parents.