Cases of child abuse and people trafficking are common in West Africa.
Cases of child abuse and people trafficking are common in West Africa Reuters

Nigerian police have raided the premises in the south-eastern city of Aba, following a report that pregnant teenage girls are being forced to produce babies, which would be used later for rituals or other purposes.

We stormed the premises of the Cross Foundation in Aba three days ago following a report that pregnant girls aged between 15 and 17 are being made to make babies for the proprietor, AFP cited Bala Hassan, police commissioner for Abia state in the country's southeast, as saying.

We rescued 32 pregnant girls and arrested the proprietor who is undergoing interrogation over allegations that he normally sells the babies to people who may use them for rituals or other purposes, Hassan said.

Although the owner of the premises said that he was helping teenagers with unwanted pregnancies, some of the girls from the so-called baby factory or baby farm told police they had been offered to sell their babies for between 25,000 and 30,000 naira ($160 to $192), according to a state agency fighting human trafficking in Nigeria, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The sold babies would then be resold to buyers for anything between 300,000 to one million naira ($1,920 to $6,400) depending on the sex of the baby.

Nigeria is notorious for human trafficking, which is the third most common crime after economic fraud and drug trafficking, according to UNESCO.