The International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Ebonyi chapter has secured the release of two-year-old Emmanuel Onwe delivered at the Custodial Centre in Abakaliki in 2018.
The child was released on Tuesday and handed over to the father, Mr Amadi Onwe.
Mrs Grace Chima, the FIDA chairperson in Ebonyi, said that the child was discovered with his mother, Mrs Chinwe Onwe, who was awaiting trial for an alleged case of murder since 2019.
“We decided to intercede on behalf of the little child following the permission of Mrs Emilia Oputa, the Comptroller of the Correctional Services Centre, Ebonyi Command,” Chima said.
She described such environment as unhealthy for the child in terms of his social, educational and emotional upbringing in the long run.
She said: “We have rescued a child that is two years of age whom the mother gave birth to at the Custodial Centre as an awaiting trial inmate.
“We weren’t comfortable with that and so we decided to visit the authorities of the Correctional Service at that time. They assured us that if we are able to find their family, we can come back for the child to be released.
“The child is more than two years and getting to three years, no education; he is not in school and he doesn’t know his siblings. The only environment the child is responding to is the centre’s environment; it is not good for a child.
“But now that we have secured his release and handed him over to the father, we will monitor everything to ensure that the child is enrolled in a school when the COVID-19 is over.
“FIDA will see to it that he is given proper upbringing and good education.”
The group also promised to fight for justice for the accused mother.
“We will make sure that we see the Ebonyi Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and do the needful concerning separating her from other accused persons,” she added.
Mr Amadi Onwe, father of the child and husband of the accused, in an interview with NAN, confirmed that he had taken possession of his son.
He assured FIDA that he would provide quality upbringing to the child who he described as a ‘victim’ of circumstance.
“I thank the International Federation of Female Lawyers for the role they played in ensuring that my son who was given birth to by my wife in the custodial centre was released.
“I took possession of him yesterday and he has since reunited with the rest of the family members,” Onwe said.
He commended FIDA for the donation of some materials including 25 Kg bag of rice, textile materials and money to the family.