Monday, April 16, 2012
(Daily News) Police in the provincial town of Basse are keeping under their custody a 21-year-old woman for stealing a newly born baby, The Daily News can reliably report.
Oumie Jawo’s new-born baby boy went missing a day after she was discharged from hospital after giving birth.
Hours later, however, the new-born was found alive and ticking in the handbag of the woman, who had accompanied the mother home from the hospital after she gave birth.
The incident occurred on Thursday at Sare village in the Upper River region of The Gambia, but the woman came from a different village. The name of the woman and her village are protected by this paper.
“I have been married for six years, but could not bear a child,” 21-year-old, who was raining tears while under custody at the police, told The Daily News.
“I’m need of a child…,” she managed to at least add between sobs.
Although the police in Basse refused to comment on the issue, the father of the new-born, Mr Mama Kubbeh Jawo, has given a graphic account of how the event unfolded.
“On Wednesday April 11, my wife delivered at Basse health centre in presence of the woman, who came along with my wife at home even though my wife said she never knew her before.
“We were at home wit her till late evening and she went back to her village. The following day, she came back and said she wanted to greet the nursing mother.
He added: “And my wife left her inside the house to take birth and when she returned the baby was nowhere to be seen.
“The woman was shouting in the room that a devil has taken the baby away. The villagers crowded in, searched everywhere and we even had to break into two of our pit latrines.
He continued: “By then the woman had left. The villagers went after her, searched her bag and found the baby in the bag covered under a piece of cloth.”
The 21-year-old unnamed woman is one of the four wives of her husband. Except her, all her husband’s wives have children.
Her mother, who was equally tearful, explained that the young woman used to complain to her about the stigma she faces at the said compound for not bearing a child.
This, she added, must have forced her daughter to do such a thing like what she is being alleged of – stealing someone’s baby.
At press time, the 21-year-old woman was released on bail. But this was not after the elapse of the 72 hour constitutional limit.
Her whereabouts are currently the subject of speculation even though she left with a family relative. Returning to her husband’s house is something many are ruling out.
“How can I go back to the village? Even if I am released, I can’t go there; I can’t take shame,” the 21-year-old had told before she was released.
Author: Ousman Touray in Basse, URR