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Amid Tussle Between Two Families, Nigeria Police Launch Investigation Into Case Of 20-Year-Old Woman Couple Say Was Stolen From Them At Birth

SaharaReporters had reported how providence dramatically brought Juliet to her biological parents, Professor Michael Okwudili and his wife, Lady Okwudili.
Okwudili hails from Ogbunike in the Oyi local government area of Anambra state.

The Nigeria Police Force has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the paternity of one Juliet, who recently discovered her biological parents in a twist of fate at 20 years of age.

 SaharaReporters had reported how providence dramatically brought Juliet to her biological parents, Professor Michael Okwudili and his wife, Lady Okwudili. Okwudili hails from Ogbunike in the Oyi local government area of Anambra state.

It reported that sequel to the new reality and mysterious exposure of a secret of 20 years, the foster parents of Juliet, a student of Alex Ekwume Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, petitioned the Force Intelligent and Investigation Department (FIID) of the Police Force against the Okwudilis. Mrs. Chidimma Mariatha Agulanna and her husband, Mr Lawrence Agulanna in the petition, claimed that Prof. Michael Okwudili and his wife Lady Gloria are inciting people against her and accusing her of stealing their child at birth and her data, including changing her date of birth. In the petition dated October 25, 2022 titled: “Urgent appeal to you to intervene to avert the lynching of our client, Mrs. Mariatha, Chidinma Agulanna, at the instigation of Mr. & Mrs. Michael Okwudili residing behind AC Drug Thinkers Corner, Old Emene Road, Enugu, Enugu state on false allegation of child stealing in respect of Miss Juliet Agulanna legally adopted since year 2002 and now 20 years old,” Agulanna claimed that she has become an object of public ridicule, odium and hatred. Mrs Agulanna in the petition she wrote through her lawyer, Ike Njoku Esq. alleged that her daughter Juliet Agulanna, has been thoroughly brainwashed by the Okwudilis and has informed her that she will bring officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to arrest her for having stolen her at birth. 

The petition said it is “to bring to your attention the matter of a sustained campaign of malicious defamation of character through the spread of injurious falsehood against her person; implanting of injurious falsehood in her adopted child, resulting in hatred by the child, creating disharmony between our client and her child, instigating a potential mob attack on our client and using NAPTIP to harass and h her, which evil campaign by Mr. & Mrs. Michael Okwudili has been on-going since September, 2022. 

“In the year 2000 our client who could no longer have a baby by reason of ill health officially applied to the Red Cross Society at Owerri which was operating an orphanage to put her through the process of legally adopting a child.” 

It added, “She was advised to register and to be on the waiting list. In June 2002, our client was informed that a baby girl was ready for adoption and that she should come and complete all adoption formalities for the release of the child to her. 

“Upon arriving at their office and completing all documentation procedures, the baby was handed over to our client along with a certificate of adoption and our client returned to her abode in Enugu with her baby. 

A copy of the certificate issued to our client by the Red-cross Society is annexed hereto. Our client dutifully played her role as a mother, raised the child from infancy through primary and secondary education and she is now in the university.

“Sometime in September this year, while in Lagos undergoing medical treatment, our client received the rudest shock of her life when Gloria Okwudili called our client and handed the phone to their parish priest, one Reverend Fr. Patrick Ogbozo to speak to her. 

The priest informed our client point-blank that she should return quickly because Mr. & Mrs. Okwudili alleged that she had stolen their baby. 

“Upon our client responding that she had no baby in the house, the priest disclosed that it was her daughter Juliet Agulanna that they were talking about. 

Struggling hard to hold her emotions, our client assured them that she was undergoing medical treatment in Lagos and would return as soon as she could. Both Gloria and her husband Mr. Michael Okwudili continuously called our client and rained abuses on her, making it impossible for her to rest through her treatment."

It added, “Our client's daughter was no longer calling her. Our client later found out that the couple had lured her daughter into moving into their house and instructed her not to accept anything from her and that they would send her overseas to study." 

 The petition further stated, “Upon returning from Lagos, our client tried to ascertain the basis of Mr. & Mrs. Okwudili's claim and the information our client could piece together are to the following effect: “That she (Gloria Okwudili) gave birth sometime in July 2002; That the day she gave birth, that she was blind-folded; That she believed she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl and that the girl was stolen; That the girl resembles her son; That she recalls that the day she gave birth, our client was also in the same hospital pretending to be pregnant.

“Meanwhile, the certificate issued by the Red-Cross Society indicates the date of birth of our client's daughter as June 14th, 2002. Asked whether they filed any report of the loss of their baby, the couple said they did not. “While our client was away on her medical trip to Lagos, Gloria Okwudili and her husband Mr. Michael Okwudili had taken her daughter, Miss Juliet Agulanna to a laboratory scientist and conducted a DNA test and discovered that her husband was the father of the young lady. 

This was done without any information to our client or her husband. "On account of the foregoing, our client who lives in the same neighbourhood has become an object of caricature, public odium and hatred. 

She has received information that the couple are trying to organise hoodlums in the area to besiege her house, apprehend her, lynch her and set her house ablaze, anytime from now on an allegation of child stealing. 

 “To add to our client's confusion, her own daughter Juliet Agulanna, now thoroughly brainwashed by Mr. & Mrs. Okwudili, has informed her that she will bring NAPTIP officials to her home to arrest her.” 

On their own part, the biological parents of Juliet, (Okwudilis) have called the police in a counter-petition to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of their daughter after birth. Okwudilis in the petition signed by their lawyer, Odili Emeka Izuchuwku Esq. is accusing Mrs Chidimma Mariatha Agulanna and her husband Mr Lawrence Agulanna of child abduction and trafficking. Okwudilis want to know how their daughter who was born in Enugu was stolen and ended up with Mr/Mrs Lawrence Agulanna of Ahiazu Mbaise, Ahiara Nnambria in Imo State with her date of birth changed, and without their consent. 

"Ever since this issue came to the limelight, Mrs. Mariatha Agulanna and her husband have used all sorts of means including writing a petition to the DIG FCID, Area 10 Gariki Abuja, who came and arrested our clients and took them to Abuja, where they were later released on bail. 

 "It is on this basis that we earnestly ask for your intervention and in-depth investigation on this matter so that the true paternity of this innocent girl can be determined." On the strength of the petitions, the petitioners SaharaReporters reliably gathered were summoned to the Force Headquarters on Wednesday where they were interrogated. 

A police source confided in SaharaReporters that a team of crack police officers have been mobilised to go to Imo State on Tuesday to begin an investigation into the petitions. 

 "As we speak, the police force headquarters has raised an investigation team in the case. They will be in the South East next week to begin investigations.

"Focus of the investigation is to find out whether the girl was legitimately adopted by the foster parents and how her parents didn't know that they had a daughter. How was she trafficked to Imo State and who and who were involved."