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Baby Removed for Lack of Eye Contact
November 12, 2014 permalink
Nigerian mother Queen Agho lost her two-week-old son George because of lack of eye contact. No, fixcas did not make this up. A Norwegian woman is adopting the baby.
Nigeria: Norway Forcibly Adopts Nigerian Woman's Baby
A Nigerian in Norway, Ms. Queen Agho, is now permanently separated from her one-year-old son given the inability of the federal government to step in and prevent the illegal adoption.
The case, which has been on for about a year, saw the Norwegian Government forcibly taking custody of the child.
The forcible adoption was however contested by the mother of the child at an appeal which according to a family member, Mr. Kelvin Izekor, was frustrated.
The child, named George, it was said, has been given to a Norwegian lady for adoption on the excuse that the mother and child do not have emotional connection and lack eye contact.
Izekor noted that the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden which is overseeing affairs in Norway and the National Assembly had waded into the issue without any positive result.
He therefore appealed to the federal government to step in and assist in recovering the child from the foster parents.
Izekor, who narrated his niece's ordeal in Norway to THISDAY, stated that "Queen's ordeal started when she was delivered of a baby boy in Leirfjord, Norway on the 12th of April, 2013.
"And barely two weeks after the delivery, the baby was taken from her based on fictitious assumptions that she was mentally incapable of fending for the child by the Norwegian Child Welfare Authorities."
The Norwegian authorities according to him, also claimed that Queen was forcibly taken to a psychiatric home by the police and child welfare for the purpose of generating official evidence to substantiate their claims, a move which he said failed as the doctor confirmed her to be mentally fit.
Queen, according to her uncle, took her case to the Nigerian Embassy in Sweden and the embassy stepped in as it officially filed a complaint.
The embassy officially demanded the intervention of the Swedish government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Kingdom of Norway.
In the official complaint (Note verbale) by the embassy dated 18 September, 2013, the embassy condemned the act, describing it as inhuman and infringement of most basic fundamental human rights and child's right to a family.
The embassy further bemoaned the increasing cases of arbitrary seizure of Nigerian children on very flimsy and unacceptable reasons. Part of the Note Verbale reads: "The embassy wishes to register its utmost displeasure with the manner in which, a nursing mother Ms Agho was treated. For such treatment to be meted out to a defenseless woman who had just put to bed with her first child is most inhuman and certainly is in breach of all human rights practices.
"The allegation that there was no connection between mother and child and lack of eye contact within the first two weeks of the baby's life seems to be in total contradiction of the reality of the mother's position.
"The embassy therefore wishes to seize this opportunity to draw the attention of the esteemed Royal Ministry to the increasing cases of arbitrary seizure of Nigerian children on very flimsy and unacceptable reasons. The decision to seize a suckling baby of two weeks and four days old from its mother and deprive the baby of the essential nutrients of breast milk and motherly love from its biological mother is indeed inhuman and an infringement of the mother's most basic fundamental human rights and child's right to a family life.
"The Embassy in the meantime wishes to request for the urgent intervention of the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a view towards returning Ms. Agho's child to its biological mother."
The Minority Whip, House of Representatives, Samson Osagie who brought the issue before the House last December was petitioned by Queen who happened to be his constituent. He asked for the intervention of the House, stressing that the case be "treated with utmost attention and dispatch it deserves as my constituent is a mother being deprived of the privilege of motherhood. The mother, Ms. Queen Agho wants her child back immediately."
The case has been referred to the Abike Dabiri-led Committee on Diaspora. Confirming the report, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri said the House is aware of the case and efforts are on to address the issue.
Dabiri-Erewa who spoke to THISDAY, explained that "we are aware of the case and we have gone far on it. In fact, we have met with the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria and we would have met with the Child Support people from Norway two weeks ago.
"The meeting has to be rescheduled because of the strike by Lufthansa staff in Germany. Their flight was cancelled. We are looking towards another date for the meeting. But I can tell you we are on it."
When THISDAY contacted Queen in a telephone interview, she confirmed that the Norwegian Child Welfare Authorities have already taken away the baby "for adoption for a period of 18 years."
She also informed THISDAY that during the appeal, the Norwegian court vehemently rejected her witness' right to testify on the case, a situation that led to the forcible seizure of her baby. THISDAY also spoke with Queen's Norwegian husband, Rello. He confirmed the case, stating that notwithstanding the clean bill of health Queen received from the medical experts on her mental fitness, the authorities still went ahead to forcibly adopt the baby.
Queen, according to reports, had the pregnancy of the baby in Nigeria before travelling to Norway. Queen's family informed THISDAY that officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja have been dilly - dallying on the matter as no tangible efforts have been made by the ministry to hold Norway accountable.