The Lagos State Police Command has apprehended a 37-year-old woman for allegedly dumping her one-day-old baby girl in a bush, causing her death.
According to the police authorities, the woman, Aderoju Ojelabi, placed her baby in a sack along with her placenta and dumped her in a bush not too far from her home on November 25, 2012.
Ojelabi told PUNCH Metro that she dumped the baby because of the financial burden of raising her, adding that she was still nursing an 18-month-old baby when she gave birth to the baby.
She said, “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.”
Ojelabi, who claimed to be a hairdressing apprentice, said she delivered her baby girl at home without any help. She said when it was midnight, she dumped the baby not too far from her house located at 1, Honourable Street, Ade-Oga, Igando.
“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. The following morning, residents were attracted by the cries of the baby and when they discovered her, they immediately reported the matter at Igando Police Division. It was learnt that policewomen attached to the Juvenile Section of the station immediately bathed the baby who was soaked in blood and tried to administer first aid.
A policeman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the baby was in a critical condition when she was discovered because of the long hours she had stayed in the sack.
He 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.”
The corpse of the baby, it was learnt, had been deposited at the morgue of General Hospital, Isolo.
PUNCH Metro learnt that 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, it was learnt, had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, and would soon be charged to court.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said the suspect would be charged to court this week.
“The suspect dumped her baby which led to her (baby’s) death. She will be charged with infanticide,” she said.