Anambra court remands Catholic Rev Sisters over alleged N5m illegal adoption

Two Reverend Sisters of the Roman Catholic Church have been remanded by the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court of Anambra State over alleged illegal adoption of babies.

The accused, Angela Onyenachi Ibe (42) and Mother-General, Chiemelie Jacinta Yvonne (41) were arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, punishable under sections 495(a) and 386 of the Criminal Code, Cap 36, Volume II, of 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 the Prosecutor, the defendants were alleged to have fraudulently collected huge sums of money between N4million and N1,500,000 paid into Zenith Bank account, belonging to Sam Damian Community Children’s and Old People’s Home, under the guise of perfecting adoption for the complainants.

The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charges, explaining that both of them hailed from Imo State and belonged to Catholic congregation, known as the St. Francis of Compassion, also based in Imo State.

They added that they were staff members and attendants at the Sam Damian Community Children’s and Old People’s Home, located at Obosi, Anambra State.

The Defense Counsel, in a bail application, prayed the Court to grant bail to the defendants on the ground that they were Revd sisters of the Roman Catholic Church, and would religiously attend their trials, whenever called upon to appear before the Court.

In her ruling, Presiding Chief Magistrate, Genevieve C. Osakwe, described the ground of bail application as very weak and unknown to law.

She bemoaned what she termed rising cases of illegal adoption and dealings on children in Anambra State, calling on security agencies, especially the Police to extend their search, arrest and prosecution to those involved in the management of illegal Community Children’s and Old People’s Homes, across the state.

The case was adjourned till May 29 and June 26, 2024 for definite hearing, while the Court ordered that the defendants be remanded at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Awka.

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