by Isi Esene
Aderoju Ojelabi, a 37-year-old woman has been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly dumping a day-old baby in the bush to die.
The mother said she had to do it because she is not financially capable of raising the baby.
Ojelabi explained that she is currently nursing an 18-month-old baby and it will be very difficult to add the new baby to her burden.
According to her: “I’ve been married four times and I have five children. My last husband died last year and presently I’m nursing an 18-month-old baby boy. When I couldn’t fend for myself anymore, I started dating someone and the man was taking care of me.
“I discovered that I was pregnant in March so I went to meet my boyfriend but he rejected the pregnancy. Our relationship turned sour soon after and I ran into financial difficulty. I considered aborting the pregnancy but I was too scared to do it. Besides, I didn’t have money.”
She reportedly gave birth to the baby girl at midnight on November 24 at her home in located at 1, Honourable Street, Ade-Oga, Igando, then put the child in a sack with placenta and dumped her in a nearby bush.
“I gave birth to the baby around 9pm on November 24 in my room. When it was midnight, I put the baby in a sack and dumped her in a nearby bush. I returned home afterwards,” she said.
Residents of the area heard the baby’s cry and reported the incident at the Igando Police Division. Policewomen attached to the Juvenile Section of the station tried all they could do save the baby’s life but they said she was already in critical condition due to the fact that she was concealed in a sack.
A police source said, “Expectedly, a new-born baby should have been fed and kept warm immediately after birth but the suspect did not feed the child. Rather, she put her in a sack, making it difficult for the baby to breathe. The baby was also covered in blood which means the suspect did not even deem it fit to clean her up.
“Policewomen were able to bathe the baby and even bought a shawl and wrapped it around her but because the baby was very little, we couldn’t do much so we rushed her to Igando General Hospital. Due to the severity of the case, the baby was transferred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. However, the baby was transferred again to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, where she was confirmed dead.”
Reports say immediately after the incident, the police held a meeting with the landlords in the area in a bid to locate the mother of the baby.
“When neighbours pointed out that Ojelabi was heavily pregnant the previous day but could not give account of the baby’s whereabouts, she automatically became a suspect. Upon interrogation, she confessed,” the police source said.
Ojelabi had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, and would soon be charged to court.