Awka - The Anambra Police Command on Thursday said it would not release 17 pregnant teenagers detained in the State Criminal Investigation Department in Awka.
The girls were arrested at an orphanage, Missionaries of Charity Compassionate Home at Fegge in Onitsha on April 10, following a petition.
The Public Relations Officer of the comand, Mr Emeka Chukwuemeka, who confirmed the arrest, said the police acted on a petition addressed to the commissioner, stating that a child belonging to the petitioner was sold by the orphanage.
``There is no such plan to release them for now as investigation is still on going. The matter is delicate because of the persons involved.
``We can’t release the suspects now as we have gone far in our investigation. When investigations are concluded, we will brief you people.”
Chuwkeuemeka, who gave the age range of the suspects as between 15 years and 30 years, declined further comments to avoid jeopardising investigation.
On the allegation that police forcefully entered the home, he said: ``there is no invasion, police acted through a petition, some persons were arrested and investigation is still going on.''
Commenting on the issue, the state's Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Henrietta Agbata, denied involvement in the arrests.
She said that the home, run by Indian nuns, was registered and executing functions assigned to it.
Agabta, however, observed that the police should have approached the ministry, to obtain the status of the home before embarking on the arrests.