BUSTED! How Arrows of God Orphanage Home ‘Became a Baby Factory’ | WATCH VIDEO
A former student of the school inside Arrows of God Orphanage, Oke Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos, has told FIJ that the childcare organisation is now a baby factory, even though it did start out as a “normal orphanage”.
The student, who asked not to be named, made the revelation while speaking to FIJ on Sunday in response to its 19-month-long undercover investigation uncovering the sale of babies at the orphanage.
‘For 19 months, ‘Fisayo Soyombo, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FIJ, had studied, trailed, investigated and eventually penetrated the orphanage after receiving a tip-off in December 2021 that one baby at Arrows of God cost N1.5 million. He eventually bought his for N2 million.
EVERYTHING WAS WELL INITIALLY
“I actually attended this school at Oke Ira Nla with my sisters between 2008 and 2013. The orphanage has a primary school on its premises; ask anyone in the area,” the ex-student said.
“Mrs. Oluchi Onyia [the administrative staff who kickstarted the sale of the baby to FIJ] was my class teacher in Primary 1; she got promoted to the position of Headteacher when I was in Primary 3 and Headmistress when I was in Primary 4. Her daughter Precious attended the school, as well as her son Uche.
“I’ll be honest and say that when we we started the school, the orphanage was actually quite normal; the orphanage children attended the school with us and they seemed well-kept. Missionaries and charity organizations visited nearly weekly and it was actually quite full and well-run.”
DOWNHIL FROM 2010
“But around 2010, we noticed the number of orphanage children in school began decreasing, and there were rumours that the children were running away from the home.
“Some were found and brought back, but looking back and also from my elder sister’s memories, the orphanage children started looking miserable and more quiet and downcast.
“I remember a few of my classmates who stayed in the home claiming that they only ate once a day because mama [Rev. Ogo] ordered weekly fasting due to some strange dreams that she had. But looking back now, the weekly fasting episode seemed to have gone on for a term because the orphanage children were never called into the dining hall for lunch throughout that term like they normally were.”
PASSING OFF DAY STUDENTS AS ORPHANS
The ex-student told FIJ that Arrows of God passed off day students as orphans in a bid to raise more funds from donors.
“Around that same time, whenever missionaries came, we the children who were just attending school were always ordered to join the orphanage children to meet with the missionaries; and if anyone asked, our surname was Ogo-Emmanuel, which is the surname the orphanage children used.
“When my dad and some other parents found out, they were really angry and they talked to Mrs. Onyia about it. They maintained that their children were not orphans, so Arrows of God should stop making us meet with missionaries.
“In addition to this, the boys hostel became significantly more populated than the female hostel, and whenever we asked about someone that left, they said their parents came to pick them. But it didn’t make sense.”
WATCH: DOCUMENTARY ARROWS OF GOD
DIVERTING AND SELLING ORPHANAGE SCHOLARSHIP SPOTS
Continuing, she said: “Also, when I was in Primary 5, there were some prominent schools that gave Arrows of God scholarship spots for the orphans. I remember The Whitedove School, Day Waterman College and some others I cannot remember at the moment.
“Mrs. Onyia made her daughter Precious and her sons Uche and Chibuzor, who were already in secondary school, apply for the scholarships. She withdrew them from secondary school and made them apply for the primary school scholarship spots and then changed their surnames to Ogo-Emmanuel, alongside the children of some teachers and matrons who had been in that school for quite a while.
“The kitchen head’s daughter was also a beneficiary and they sold some spots to parents of the school — not a single orphan was included in the scholarship.”
The ex-student described the ‘Deborah’ mentioned in FIJ’s investigation as Rev. Ogo’s granddaughter “who I remember is a dark-skinned, chubby girl who attended Edidot Schools Lagos and was a mini-tyrant, especially to the orphans”.
“I am not surprised to hear her name pop up,” the ex-student added.
GHOST STRUCTURE, NOW A BABY FACTORY
“We moved away from Ajah in 2016 but returned in February last year for a visit, and from the information my mum gathered, Arrows Of God is a ghost structure; the school is still running and there are ‘orphans’ in the home, but rumours doing the rounds in Oke Ira Nla are that they are now a baby factory.
“Apparently, a girl escaped from the orphanage last year with her baby, claiming that they wanted to sell her child. Upon further enquiry, she claimed she was raped by the gateman and the situation points to the fact that it was masterminded by the orphanage.
“They gave her some money to keep her mouth shut, but the girl took her baby and ran. Arrows of God couldn’t get the girl back because the area had serious eyes on them at the time and trying to take the girl or her baby would have resulted in mob action. The girl also claims that this isn’t the first incident and that Arrows Of God ‘farms’ babies.
“My older sister who was friends with most of the orphanage children in her class at the time said she was told by her former classmates that some boys who were classmates with her (peace and Benjamin) along with some other boys in the orphanage (note that we heard of only the boys and no girls) went with mama to Anambra and never came back.
“There were also a few molestation rumours going on at the home, but we were kids then and didn’t really know anything. I actually think that this entire thing goes deeper than just selling babies for money and might even be a baby factory.
“Ask anybody in Oke Ira-nla and they will tell you that mama is possibly running a baby ring in Anambra bacause why is the Anambra location so remote?”
Since FIJ released the story between Wednesday and Friday with a trailer, multimedia story and documentary respectively on each day, the Ajah premises of the Arrows of God Orphanage in Lagos has been sealed by the authorities, and Oluchi Onyia arrested.
Similarly, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has taken possession of Oriade Runsewe, the now six-month-old baby sold under the table by Arrows of God orphanage.