Mrs. Veronica Igwe a 38-year-old woman, allegedly gave up her four-year-old daughter, Uloma Igwe, to her creditor as collateral for her N100 debt.
Mrs. Cecilia Elom the Desk Officer in charge of Child Abuse/Maltreatment Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, said on Thursday to news outlets in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State that the ministry received an emergency call on Tuesday, informing them that Veronica had exchanged her four-year-old daughter because of her inability to settle N100 debt.
Elom said upon receiving the report, officials of the ministry immediately headed to the CAS campus of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, where the alleged creditor, Mrs. Josephine Nwali, resides.
“On reaching the residence, we saw little Uloma Igwe with another seven-year-old boy hawking. On interrogation, they confessed to have been lured into hawking by Mrs. Josephine Nwali who they were living with.
“Uloma’s mother, Veronica, informed our officials that she did not even know the woman she gave her child to.”
Veronica said she had “business transaction” with Mrs. Josephine Nwali at the Rice Mill Abakaliki in August 2017, where she bought some items from her, after which she owed her N100.
Veronica said she then suggested to her debtor that she could bring one of her children in exchange for the debt.
She maintained that she did not know the residence of the woman she handed her daughter to, but that the transaction took place at the rice mill where they do daily rice transactions.
“Officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs invited Mrs. Josephine Nwali to the Office, from where she was handed over to the Ebonyi State Police Command for interrogation,” Elom said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Women Affairs has concluded arrangement to take little Uloma Igwe to hospital for proper medical treatment.