June 1, 2011, Nigerian police raided a baby farm hidden in the maternity home ironically named “The Cross Foundation.” 32 pregnant teens were saved and taken to the headquarters of an anti–trafficking organization. Four babies, who had been sold but not collected, were also rescued.
The teenage mothers were locked up in the clinic and made to produce babies for sale. Some of the girls informed the authorities that they were forced to sell their babies to the proprietor for around $190 depending on the gender. The infants were then purchased by human traffickers or for witchcraft rituals.
The doctor arrested for running the operation is now being held for interrogation. Currently he is denying all allegations and claiming “The Cross Foundation” to be a clinic designed to help teens with unwanted pregnancies. In other words, when he doesn’t sell the babies, he murders them.
He holds to the story that the newborns were handed over to social welfare for adoption. However, evidence suggests that they were taken by human traffickers where the stated adoptions were illegal.
The buying and selling of babies, in Nigeria, is illegal and the doctor will likely be charged with child abuse and human trafficking, facing a prison time of up to 14 years.
In Western Africa, “baby factories” or “baby farms” are common. Teens, ages between 15–17, with unplanned pregnancies are lured to clinics where their newborns are taken and can be sold for up to $6,400 by traffickers. In some parts of the country they are considered valuable for sacrifice due to the belief that they strengthen charms.
Human trafficking in Nigeria is ranked the third most common crime, right behind financial fraud and drug trafficking. There traffickers, rarely caught or prosecuted, are allowed to roam free.