17th August, 2023
The Anambra State Government has permanently closed the Arrows of God Community Children’s Home following claims of illegal adoption and child trafficking.
Ify Obinabo, the State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, declared the orphanage’s closure following a documentary investigation by Fisayo Soyombo of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism.
Obinabo, along with security forces, raided the orphanage and locked it off.
According to reports, the orphanage’s owner and staff members left and are still at large, while some children, including a newborn baby, were rescued from the orphanage.
Statistics about children discovered were ten boys, nine girls, and a newborn infant aged one to seventeen.
Speaking on the matter, the commissioner denied her ministry’s role in the illegal child adoption drama.
She also stated that the founder of the orphanage home, Rev. D.C. Ogo, was summoned to her office in Awka for questioning, but he never showed up.
“The ministry is not aware of any adoption with the Arrow of God Orphanage Home, and the adoption process never went through the ministry.
“There are irregularities in the said adoption, which include the absence of three signatories, such as the Commissioner, the Head of Children’s Unit, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
“Since I assumed office, all applications for court orders of adoption or care go through the designated Children, Sexual, and Gender-Based Violence Magistrate Court in Awka, as opposed to the Nnewi Court order presented in the documentary. This is so because the fundamental goal is to preserve the best interest of the child.”
Furthermore, the Commissioner warned other orphanage home operators who are engaging in illegal adoption, stating that the state government is taking all necessary steps to crack down on operators who do not follow the state’s prescribed and standard operational norms and procedures.
Obinabo also warned that many people are disguising themselves and posing as Ministry employees in order to facilitate illegal adoptions or child sales.
Couples seeking to adopt children are urged to proceed with caution and carefully follow the standard procedure, as there is no shortcut to child adoption in the state and ignorance is not an excuse.