The conduct of a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test to determine the biological mother of a disputed six-year-old boy, Elijah Tanko, has been ordered by the Federal Government’s Independent Investigation Panel (IPP) on the activities of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).





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Justice Suleiman Galadima (retd.) of the panel, which is being organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said the test would be undertaken by an independent expert hired by the NHRC.



The test was necessary, according to the former Supreme Court Justice, since the panel’s members were dissatisfied with the evidence supplied by NPF officials.


Esther Tanko, one of the four women claiming to be the boy’s mother, had petitioned the panel, claiming that the infant was taken from her mother as she was coming from work on September 9, 2019.


Mrs. Tanko, who later testified before the panel, said she rushed to the NPF’s Bwari Division in Abuja to report how a lady and her male accomplice had kidnapped her child and fled in a car.


She went on to say that as she was waiting for a response from the police, she watched her son on TV being paraded by the cops as one of the youngsters rescued from human traffickers.


Mrs. Tanko stated that she went to the police station expecting to be handed her child, but that the officers informed her that several other women were also claiming to be the mother of the child.


She said that, despite the police later suggesting a DNA test, the results were inconclusive, prompting her to petition the panel.


Mrs. Tanko presented three exhibits to support her claim to the boy: a birth certificate, polio vaccination card, and a photograph of the boy.



The boy was retrieved in Abia State from Ifeoma Eboniyi and Emmanuel Onyekwere, who are claimed to be members of a child abduction racket, according to the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) who handled the case, Inspector Desmond Habila.


Ifeoma sold the boy to a woman named Uloma in November of this year, according to Habila.


Ifeyinwa Vera, Rosemary Chidiebere, and Jumui Muniat were the other three women who claimed the infant, according to the police officer.


Only Mrs. Tanko attended the panel’s meetings, testified, and presented exhibits, out of the four women the police said were claiming the child. The others were never seen.


The judges deferred the hearing on Monday until November 19 to await the results of the DNA test.


It urged the NHRC to get the help of professionals to conduct the DNA test.


Seven other cases were considered by the panel, which resumed convening on Monday after a seven-month hiatus.


Four other cases were adjourned for a determination (report) and three more were adjourned for final adoption.