Mrs. Charity Okpara, the founder of Great Army of God Church has been arrested for selling a 7-month old baby belonging to one of her members, Mrs. Blessing Harrison, by the the Gender Section of the Police Command in Lagos.
The incident happened at Abiodun Kayode Street, Shibiri area of Lagos, where the Church is located.
According to reports, a 48-year-old Mrs. Happiness Ejikeme who is a child merchant bought the child, who in turn sold it to a 40-year old woman, Mrs. Mercy Nwokike, in Mbaukwu town, Anambra State.
She maintain 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.
Pastor Charity admitted that she sold the baby for N350,000 to Mrs Happiness and collected a commission of N25,000, During interrogation.
According to her, 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.
The child merchant, 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.
DSP Bala Elkana, the Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the incident.
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.
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