Eight women who were standing trial for allegedly stealing a 16-month-old baby have been freed by a magistrate court in Port Harcourt.
Chief Magistrate, Rita Oguguo, in her judgment, freed the eight suspects after a plea bargain was entered between the Rivers State Government and family of the complainant.
Oguguo ordered the women to pay N1.7million to the baby’s parents and N200, 000 to the state government.
Our correspondent reports that two of the women, Grace Asikwe and Ebere Ogonna, had already spent two years at the correctional centre in Port Harcourt.
The other suspects, Confidence Regina, Patricia Oluje, Kate Mubana, Teressa Gabriel, Confidence Iheanachor and Love Adumor had been on bail.
The women were alleged to have conspired to steal the child in a church around Whimpey Junction in Obio/Akpor Local Government area of the state.
In a related development, a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt sentenced one Joy Jumbo to four years in prison for conspiring with a man to steal an eight months old baby.
Oguguo in her judgment, found Joy Jumbo guilty.