The Anambra government said it apprehended one Oluchukwu Nwosu, 45, who allegedly sold her three-month-old grandchild for N50,000.
The Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, disclosed this at a news briefing in Awka on Sunday.
Ms Obinabo said the baby had been rescued following consistent intelligence reports and surveillance that lasted almost a month.
She said four people had been arrested for the crime and would be handed over to the police for investigation.
“The rescue operation followed a report by Ijeoma Nwosu, who claimed that her mother, Oluchukwu, forcefully sold her baby soon after he was born and refused to tell her the baby’s whereabouts.
“It is sad that the baby is looking sick and underweight.
“According to the buyer, she has no money to buy proper baby food, and she resorted to feeding the baby with soya bean powder,” she said
The commissioner frowned at the continued practice of illegal adoption in the state despite the government’s efforts to end it.
She warned that perpetrators of unlawful adoption would face legal action.
Speaking with reporters, Ms Oluchukwu pleaded for forgiveness, saying that the baby was the third child her daughter, Ms Ijeoma, had outside wedlock.
“We are poor. There is no money to feed and take care of ourselves and the children.
“So, when I met one Tochukwu Asiegbu, we bargained and agreed that he would pay N50,000, and he paid me the money,” she said.
Also, Mr Asiegbu said his profit from the deal was N30,000, adding that he only connected Ms Oluchukwu to the buyer.
The buyer, one Evelyn Egwuatu, from Uruagu in Nnewi, said she paid N200,000 to obtain the baby from one Ebelechukwu Uba, who hails from Ebonyi but is resident in Anambra.
Mr Uba, however, said he was just a middleman, adding that Mr Asiegbu and Ms Oluchukwu decided to sell the baby to Ms Egwuatu.