A couple, with four children, were Monday arraigned at an Adentan Circuit Court for allegedly stealing an abandoned day-old baby boy.
Edward Nyarko -Affum and Naomi Nyarko- Affum who claimed they had “developed some special love” for the baby kept him until the Police and officials of the Department of Social Welfare caused their arrest.
Charged with conspiracy to commit crime and child stealing, the couple in the presence of their lawyer, have pleaded not guilty.
Answering questions from the judge, they informed the court that they had four children – their first child was 16 years old, and their last child was eight.
The court, presided over by Mrs Sedinam Awo Balokah, admitted the couple to bail in the sum of GHC 40,000 each with two sureties each.
The court said the sureties should be known to the Police and adjourned the matter to Monday, March 13 for mention.
Prosecuting, Chief inspector Maxwell Lanyo said the complainant was the Adentan Municipal Director of the Department of Social Welfare who lived at Madina.
The prosecution said Edward and Naomi were a married couple residing at New Legon, near Accra.
It said on January 6, 2023, at about 0550 hours, the couple and one other person found the baby in front of an uncompleted building at New Legon.
The prosecution said they picked up the baby and took him to the Lakeside Estate Police Station, where they were requested to take the baby to the Adentan DOVVSU office for action to be taken.
It said the accused persons agreed to the request.
They then sent the baby to the Ashalley Botcwey Health Centre and the nurses on duty administered first aid to him and handed him over to the couple to be taken to the Police Station.
However, the prosecution said from the health centre, they sent the baby home.
The prosecution told the court that the Greater Accra Regional Director of Social Welfare had information that an abandoned baby had been picked up and sent to the Ashalley Botwe Health Centre.
It said the Director gave the telephone number of Edward to the complainant and instructed her to pursue the case and rescue the baby.
The prosecution said the complainant called the number and Edward answered the call. The complainant then introduced herself as the head of Adenta Municipal Social Welfare Officer and informed Edward that she was calling to “get custody” of the baby.
It said when Edward heard this, he informed the complainant that his phone battery was draining fast and promised to get back to her.
The prosecution said Edward, however, did not get back to the complainant as promised. The complainant and her team proceeded to the health Centre but met neither the baby nor the accused persons.
It said the nurses on duty confirmed that they directed the couple to send the baby to the Police after administering care to him.
The prosecution said all efforts made by the officials of the Department of Social Welfare to trace the couple or the baby failed.
It said the complainant, therefore, reported the incident to the Police.
The prosecution said the Police together with the complainant went to the health centre where the contact number of Naomi was obtained.
When Naomi was contacted by the Police, she informed the Police that the baby was in her custody but several appeals to either report at the Police station with baby or give directions to her house to enable the Police to take custody of the baby yielded no results.
The prosecution said after several calls to Edward, the Police managed to establish contact with him, and he promised to be at the Police Station but failed to do so.
It said several calls made by the Police to get Edward to deliver the baby to the Police Station yielded no results.
The Court heard that Edward, during one of the calls, told the Police that “he would resist any attempt by the Department of Social welfare to take the baby away from him and his wife.”
Edward, however, reported at the station but without the baby.
The police, therefore, escorted Edward to his house at New Legon where the baby was found in the custody of Naomi, his wife.
It said the baby was rescued and Naomi was also arrested.
During investigation, Naomi in her caution statement admitted that after the initial report to the Police, she “developed a special love for the baby and she had wanted to keep him.”
It said when Naomi informed her husband, Edward, he agreed to her decision to keep the baby.
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