Police authorities in Kwara have arrested three suspected human traffickers in Ilorin, the state capital of Kwara.
The suspects – Musa Ayuba, 44, Jeremiah Muda, 35, and Luka Ayuba, 37 – all hail from Bangi village via Kotongura, Niger State.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Okasanmi Ajayi, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said the victims – 22 boys and 19 girls – ranged from five to 15 years.
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According to him, the suspects were arrested along the Okolowo expressway on 14 January with 41 children while waiting to transport them to an unknown destination.
“On January 14, 2023, at 0400 hours along the Okolowo expressway, a detachment of policemen on special security assignment, intercepted the trio with 41 young boys and girls (22 boys and 19 girls),” the police spokesman said.
“The victims are of different ages of between 5 and 15 years old,” he said.
While undergoing interrogation, Ajayi said the suspects claimed to be coming from Niger State to Ilorin to meet a certain pastor to enroll the children in a yet-to-be-identified place.
“Their claims look spurious and we are presently investigating their claims and we would discreetly do that.
“The children are presently in the custody of our command, and we would soon establish contact with their parents and relevant authorities,” he added.
On his part, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Paul Odama, advised parents and guardians to avoid releasing their children to unknown persons.
He warned that children might be used as house helps and other despicable endeavours, which is against the child rights laws.
The State Police Command pledged that the suspects would be charged in court after a thorough investigation.