How 83-year-old orphanage founder was remanded in prison for ‘Human Trafficking’

How 83-year-old orphanage founder was remanded in prison for ‘Human Trafficking’

Clara Chinwe Deborah Ogo, an 83-year-old woman and founder of the renowned Arrow of God Orphanage in Anambra State, has been remanded at a Correctional Centre in Onitsha, Anambra.

She was remanded after The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) arraigned her at the Federal High Court, Awka Judicial Division, for alleged buying and selling of human beings.

Ogo, a retired Nigerian Army Lt. Col, and a nurse, owns the orphanage located at Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi L.G.A., Anambra State, with branches in Lagos State.

The Arrow of God Orphanage came under scrutiny in 2023 after Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist exposed alleged illicit activities related to illegal adoption and sales of babies linked to the orphanage.

Soyombo bought a baby from Ogo for N2 million in July 2023, after 19 months of intense work to crack the investigation.

Following these revelations, NAPTIP launched a comprehensive investigation, resulting in Ogo’s arrest on October 3, 2023, within the premises of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Awka, Anambra State.

The defendant was arraigned on a one-count charge, which states: “That you Ogo Chinwe Clara Deborah (F) 83 Years old, of 66 Awka Road, Onitsha, Anambra State and others (at large), on July 6th, 2023 at the above address within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, did buy and sell a baby, female, 5(Five) months old, and thereby committed an offense punishable under Sections 21 of the trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015”. Clara Ogo pleaded not guilty to the charge.”

Justice Hauwa Yilwa, the presiding judge, granted her bail with a bond of N1.3 million and two sureties in like sum.

She was subsequently remanded at the Onitsha Correctional Facility pending the fulfillment of her bail conditions.

The case has been adjourned to July 10, 2024, for trial.

Meanwhile, the orphanage has been sealed.

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