A Senior Magistrates’ Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Friday, discharged and acquitted a clergyman, Mr George Brown and a housewife, Mrs Tina Tekebe, charged with stealing a baby.
While delivering judgment, Magistrate Helen Hardy, held that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond the reasonable doubt.
“Based on the evidence before the court, the prosecution has failed to prove the charge of conspiracy and theft of a one-day baby against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt,
“The defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted of the charge,” she held.
The police said the one-day-old baby was alleged to have been sold to Tekebe for N150,000 after her mother was delivered.
The clergy was alleged to have arranged for Grace Sunday to be delivered of her baby and sold to Tekebe.
The alleged offence was committed in December 2011 at Rumuolumeni community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
During trial, the prosecution witness (PW1), told the court that she attended the pastor’s church programme where he promised to conduct a spiritual exercise for her to avert giving birth to a doll.
According to her, when labour started in the church, the pastor sent one of his members to call one nurse, Miss Blessing Ogbuiwe (Traditional Birth Attendant) to take the expectant woman to her house.
She said that she was given five injections to “enable her push the baby”.
The woman (grace) said she was delivered of the baby while she went out of the TBA’s room to ease herself.
Grace said she delivered a baby girl while the TBA collected the child who kept on crying.
She said that she was surprised when the nurse told her husband Mr Sunday Uboh in the morning that she gave birth to doll, which was robbed with blood.
She said that Tekebe disappeared with her child.
The court was earlier told that the nurse admitted selling the child to the first accused person for N150,000
The police said when a team followed the nurse to recover the child from Tekebe, a cerebration was going on the buyer’s resident in Choba area of Port Harcourt.