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Anti-SARS Panel: 5 women lay claim to boy, DNA test to the rescue

By National Human Rights Commission.

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Dr Kelvin Nwabueze a consultant pathologist   and the head of the anatomic pathology and forensic medicine at Asokoro district hospital Abuja, has appeared before the justice Suleiman Galadima led IIP-SARS panel regarding the issue of alleged abduction and enforced disappearance of a child Elijah Tanko brought before the panel by an indigent woman, Esther Elijah.

The medical practitioner informed the panel that in July 2020 he was contacted by DCP Abba Kyari of the Inspector General of police intelligence Response Team to run a DNA test on a child recovered from alleged child traffickers, and three different women claiming to be the mother of the child.

Continuing the doctor said samples of the child in question and the following women; Esther Tanko, Ifeyinwa Vera and Rosemary Chidiebere respectively were taken at the Asokoro General Hospital.

They were sealed in the presence of the women’s witnesses and the IPO in charge of the case for onward transmission via FEDEX to a forensic centre in Lagos for analysis.

However, while the result was being awaited according to the Doctor, a fourth claimant to the child surfaced and reported to the IRT unit.

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He said at that time the IRT contacted him but he told them that the results were already out and the maternity investigation proves Rosemary Chidiebere was the biological mother of the unknown child, he stated.

But the police insisted in the interest of fairness the fourth woman Jamui Muniat be investigated also, so her samples were taken and that of the unknown child and sent to the forensic centre in Lagos again.

Unfortunately, he said, the EndSARS protest broke out the centre was vandalize, he added.

Dr Nwabueze said due to the importance attached to the investigation, he contacted a world leading centre on DNA called DDC in Ohio United State and they referred him to their Nigerian agent Arrive and Alive centre in Lagos where the fourth test was later conducted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nwabueze while interpreting the result before the panel said the integrity of the test is 99% he told the panel how he advised the police to declare that there is a match else the circle will not end as a fifth claimant to the child has surfaced.

It would be recall that Esther Tanko petitioned the panel sometime in November 2020 over allege abduction and enforce disappearance of her son Elijah Tanko by one Chioma and an unidentified man on 9 October 2019.

Esther narrated to the panel how her attention was drawn to images circulating on social media about missing children and she said her son happens to be among the missing children, and was declared to be in the custody of the Anti-Robbery Squad. (SARS) she noted.

The complainant said she went to SARS to identify her son unexpectedly there were other parents laying claim to the child as theirs despite the fact that the child identified and called out to her on seeing her.

With this development, the complainant said she was then asked to go for a DNA test to determine the maternity of the said child, but due to lack of funds to conduct the medical test Abba Kyari paid for the medical bills.

Esther brought before the panel as evidence a birth certificate, polio vaccination card and pictures of her missing child.

The case has been adjourned to 7 April 2021 for submission of written address.

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