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Court finds two social workers culpable over child trafficking

Nairobi
 

Community worker at Mama Lucy hospital Fred Leopara Makalla and Celina Awuor at Milimani at Milimani law courts on January 18, 2023. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A Nairobi court has found two social workers culpable of the offence of child trafficking and have a case to answer.

Milimani Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu said that the two social workers who were employees of Nairobi Metropolitan Services trafficked the babies from Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.

Makallah Fred Leparan and Selina Awuor Adundo had earlier been charged with stealing three infants from the hospital on diverse dates between March and November 2020.

The three infants were aged eight days, two weeks and two months, respectively.

Kimilu, in her ruling, said that the prosecution had proved its case, adding that the two employees failed to protect the infants said to have been trafficked.

The two suspects will take the stand on March 7, 2023, to prove their innocence before the court retires to write the judgment. Leparan informed the court that he will give unsworn evidence with his co-accused Selina choosing to give sworn evidence.

According to Peter Murimi Magaka, a BBC reporter and the key prosecution witness in the case, the three babies had been abandoned at the hospital by their mothers and were later taken by the administration for treatment and care.

In the first instance, a video clip played in court during the hearing of the case, Leparan is seen going into the hospital, then coming out to meet a woman, who is then handed the baby by a nurse before she drives off.

The deal was sealed after several meetings between the journalist and Leparan. Leparan allegedly received three bundles of Sh100,000 each all totaling Sh300, 000 from the buyers before handing over the baby boy to the woman.

Leparan had asked the woman the gender she preferred, to which she replied that gender did not matter.

He (Leparan) was asked by the BBC reporter who had pretended to be a buyer whether the baby was healthy, and he replied that he was thereby confirming his intent to steal and sell the child.

In 2021, DPP Noordin Haji dropped charges against Dr Musa Mohammed Ramadhan who was then a medic at the hospital and turned him into a State witness.

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