Ondo Woman Speaks Out After Government Officials ‘Snatched’ Her 3-Month-Old Baby Without Explanation
In a troubling and emotionally charged case, Mrs. Opeyemi Adegboyeya, a 40-year-old woman, has come forward with a harrowing account of her son’s alleged disappearance while in the custody of the Ondo State Juvenile Home, which operates under the auspices of the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. This incident, which transpired in 2017, raises serious questions about the welfare and whereabouts of her child, Oluwaseun Omoniyi.
Mrs. Adegboyeya, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression, recounted her ordeal. She sought medical assistance at the Ondo State Neuro-Psychiatric Specialist Hospital in Akure, accompanied by her newborn baby and two other children. However, her visit to the hospital took a traumatic turn when authorities at the facility, after administering an injection, decided to take temporary custody of her three children, citing concerns about her ability to care for them in her condition.
Despite her pleas and those of her mother, who sought to assume responsibility for the children, the hospital workers, invoking their government affiliation, insisted on retaining custody of the children. After a heated four-hour standoff, two of the children were eventually released to the family while the youngest, Oluwaseun Omoniyi, was handed over to the state Ministry of Women Affairs.
Mrs. Adegboyeya was subsequently admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment and discharged after a month. Her pursuit of her baby’s whereabouts led her to the Ministry of Women Affairs, where she was informed that her child had tragically passed away. According to the ministry official, the baby had suffered a fatal head injury and died.
Despite the devastating news, Mrs. Adegboyeya remains steadfast in her belief that her child is alive, asserting that the ministry might have engaged in illicit activities, including the alleged sale of babies. She cites the male child’s desirability as a potential motive.
Allegations of misconduct within the ministry were supported by a junior official who claimed that the practice of selling babies was not uncommon and that the proceeds were shared among the involved individuals. These disturbing revelations have left Mrs. Adegboyeya and her family seeking justice and demanding the safe return of her child.
Despite the gravity of the allegations, no death certificate was provided, and attempts to verify the baby’s death at the hospital morgue proved futile. It was only when the Department of State Services (DSS) became involved that some arrests were made. However, the family alleges that the DSS eventually faced pressure to abandon the case, leading to the transfer of an officer who had been diligently investigating the matter.
Efforts to seek redress through correspondence to government officials, including the state Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor’s wife, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, and the Attorney General, have yielded no response.
In light of these troubling circumstances, Mrs. Adegboyeya appeals to the state government to launch a thorough investigation into the matter and compel the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs to provide information about the whereabouts and well-being of her son, who would now be six years old. She remains resolute in her belief that her child is still alive and implores the authorities to take action in pursuit of justice.