The Edo State Government has shut down God’s Own Orphanage, in Benin City, where five-year-old Elo Ogidi abducted from Christ Embassy in Ikeja, Lagos State, was found.
The government said 15 children had been evacuated from the facility, adding that details of three of them were not documented.
Ogidi was rescued from the orphanage by the police last Friday about seven weeks after she was stolen during a church service in Lagos while the owner of the centre, Kehinde Imarigbe, was arrested by the Edo State Police Command.
While she was being paraded, she claimed that her orphanage was registered by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and had been operating for four years with 15 children.
A statement on Friday said the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Magdalene Ohenhen, led a team to seal off the centre located at 25, Davies Street, off Siluko Road, Benin City.
Ohenhen stated that the management of the centre did not follow due process in admitting Elo into the orphanage.
The statement said, “During the operation, the commissioner and her team also discovered that the orphanage had three other children who were not documented with the ministry as required by law.
“There are rules and regulations guiding the operations of orphanages, but the management of God’s Own Orphanage did not abide by these rules which are why we have shut it.
“The procedure is that before you accept a child into an orphanage in the state, the operator of the home must inform the state government through the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
“The home did not inform us about the child who was reported missing in a church in Lagos before accommodating the child in the home.”
The commissioner added that there were three other children who were admitted into the orphanage without the knowledge of the state government.
She noted that the 15 children in the orphanage would be moved to a safer centre under the custody of the Edo State Government, pending when investigation on the activities of the home would be concluded.