The Children, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Court in Awka, Anambra State, has remanded two reverend sisters from a first generational church (name withheld) for illegal dealings and fraudulent adoption of children.

The defendants, identified as Reverend Sister Angela Onyenachi Ibe, aged 42, and Mother-General, Reverend Sister Chiemelie Jacinta Yvonne, aged 41, were arraigned on a four-count charge, including conspiracy and obtaining by pretense, punishable under sections 495(a) and 386 of the Criminal Code, Cap 36, Volume II, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991.

They were also charged with illegal dealings with children and fraudulent adoption, punishable under Section 30(2)(b) of the Child’s Rights Law of Anambra State, 2004.

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Despite the charges, both defendants pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. They disclosed that they hailed from Imo State and were staff members at the Sam Damian Community Children’s and Old People’s Home in Obosi, Anambra State.

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The defense counsel sought bail for the defendants, emphasizing their status as reverend sisters and commitment to attending court proceedings.

However, the Presiding Chief Magistrate, Genevieve C. Osakwe, dismissed the bail application, describing it as weak and unknown to the law. She expressed concern over rising cases of illegal adoption and called on security agencies to intensify efforts in addressing the issue.

The case was adjourned to May 29 and June 26, 2024, for further hearing, with the defendants remanded at the State Criminal Investigation Department in Awka.

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