The University of Lincoln has barred former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu from undertaking any further duties as visiting professor after he was accused of trafficking a 15-year-old boy to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting.
Mr Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, are currently detained in the UK over the charges ahead of a court date on July 7.
They have both denied the trafficking charges.
Ekweremadu had been in the UK for at least two weeks before he was arrested, having met with members of the Nigerian community in Britain in Lincoln around ten days ago.
The police on Monday rescued two newborn babies and a pregnant teenager from suspected child traffickers in Ebonyi State.
Also rescued was a pregnant teenager who was allegedly taken from Cross River State to Lagos for sale.
Police spokesperson, Loveth Odah, told newsmen that the babies were rescued by a team of local vigilantes and the Ebubeagu Security Network in Abakiliki.
A certain suspected child trafficker named Imaobong Akpan was also arrested during the rescue operation. Upon interrogation, Imaobong confessed to the crime, saying this was her second attempt at transporting children for sale.
Speaking further on the development, Ms Odah said the suspected trafficker and her victims were intercepted on the ‘boundary’ between Abi Local Government Area of Cross River and Abaomege axis in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi.
“They were intercepted during a search by the local vigilantes in the area who alerted the police,” the deputy superintendent of police stated.
She disclosed that the two babies were concealed in bags by the suspected trafficker, the baby girls were less than a week and two weeks old respectively.
According to Ms Odah, “The babies have been taken to an Intensive Care Unit of the Alex-Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, for proper medical care.
“After the medical care, the babies will be transferred to the Ministry of Women Affairs to take care of them, while investigations will continue.”
Ms Odah said the Commissioner of Police, Garba Aliyu, has vowed to ensure that those involved were made to feel the full weight of the law.
The commissioner while thanking the vigilantes and members of Ebubeagu, urged security operatives to be very vigilant as to ensure that child trafficker and other criminals are totally ousted from Ebonyi State.
A 47-year-old mother of three has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for child trafficking in Akwa Ibom State.
The woman, Gertrude Akpan, a retired hospital matron was convicted by the Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo, the state capital, for trafficking a 6-year-old boy.
She was said to have bought the child at the sum of N50,000, after which she took him to Owerri, Imo State where she sold him to one Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna, a native of Bende in Abia State at the sum of N200,000.
Presided over by Justice Okon Okon, the court found Akpan guilty of the offence and thereafter, gave the sentence without an option of fine.
The convict was said to have confessed that she has been in the trafficking business since 2008.
Delivering judgement in the case, the trial judge, Justice Okon Okon held that “apart from the confession of the convict, the evidence of the prosecution witness that she assisted the police in the recovery of the child victim from the buyer in Owerri, remained unchallenged and therefore accepted.”
He also held that the evidence of the prosecution is that one Ubong Charles Ekwere had on May 12, 2018, abducted the six-year-old boy in the lawful custody of his grandmother and sold him to the convict (Gertrude Akpan) at the sum of N50,000 and Gertrude in turn, sold the victim to Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna in Owerri at the sum of N200,000.
The presiding judge ruled that the convict was “guilty of unlawful removal and transfer of the child victim from Akwa Ibom State to Owerri, Imo State”.
Justice Okon also said: “it is sadistic that Gertrude, a mother of children, indulged in selling children of others, thereby depriving the innocent children of the natural love, care and upbringing by their parents.
“Such evil trade must be deprecated, forestalled and checkmated by every right-thinking member of the society,” he added.
Giving the sentence, the court held further that “buying and selling of children is against social and moral values of the people of Akwa Ibom State.”
Nigerian airline, Air Peace has foiled an attempt to traffic two babies by a man and a woman at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2, Lagos.
According to a statement issued by the airline on Tuesday, a Passenger Service Executives and Security Personnel became suspicious when the two adults, travelling to Asaba, were being checked in at the counter.
The suspicion intensified when the two adults, who hinted that the babies were three months old each, had different narratives upon questioning.
Further questioning revealed they were not the parents of the babies.
Consequently, Air Peace’s Security Unit took both of them to the MMA2 Police Station where they admitted to being agents who traffic children for adoption.
The police say the case would be transferred to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation and action.
This is not the first time the airline is nabbing suspected traffickers.
In June 2018 crew members had foiled two child trafficking schemes on a Lagos–Banjul flight and another in January 2019 on a Lagos-Port Harcourt flight.
The Kano State Government has directed that a sum of one million naira each be distributed to the nine victims of Child trafficking in the state to cater for their well-being.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje gave the order on Thursday, while receiving the nine children who were abducted from Kano and sold in Anambra State.
He also approved death penalty for anyone found guilty of kidnapping across the state while inaugurating a commission to be headed by Justice Wada Rano to commence an inquiry into cases of missing persons from 2010 till date.
Furthermore, he directed the Ministry of Justice to immediately commence the process of making amendments to laws regarding kidnapping and other child-related abuses.
Traditional rulers and religious leaders including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, among others on Monday discussed ways of keeping African girls in school.
The leaders made the discussions during the Regional Conference for African Traditional and Religious Leaders on Keeping Girls in School in Africa. The conference was held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, at the event, highlighted the dangers of neglecting girl child education. According to him, the Keeping Girls in School Conference is designed to address the human capital deficit.
“We have been told by experts consistently that development of Africa in every society starts with human capital development. The conference is conceived and designed to address this human capital development deficit,” the Sultan said.
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, in his address said funds are needed from the public and private sector to fund girl child education.
“We have been spending a lot of time blaming the victims. So while we talk about cultural practices, attitudes, we also talk about the need for these schools to be available for funding by the public and private sector.”
The Regional Conference for African Traditional and Religious Leaders on Keeping Girls in School in Africa is a three-day conference aimed at triggering a kind of renaissance in Africa, by launching the drive for girls child education in Africa.
It is also aimed at ensuring that African girls and future mothers are educated so that they produce and bring up healthy and educated children who will lead Africa to greatness in the 21st century.
President Muhammadu Buhari who was also at the event reminded religious and traditional leaders of their role to advise and assist the government in tackling the challenges. He also described traditional leaders as original guardians of history, security, traditions, customs and culture.
The Anti-Human Trafficking unit of the police on Wednesday rescued some children from an alleged illegal orphanage in the Okomaiko area of Lagos State.
The officer in charge of the unit, Chioma Ajunwa Oparah, explained that they burst the orphanage after they received information of child trafficking and sale allegedly being carried within the premise.
She said, “We went to the orphanage to rescue them because we heard an information concerning the illegality that has been going on in that orphanage home and we trailed the place. We got information through the baby that was sold. We trailed the place with the receipt.
“If you check the children here, you’ll see that they were trafficked from Enugu State.
“They were not born here and the one that was sold was born in the so-called traditional medicine home and we believe that so many things are still yet to be known”.
The children, aged between five and 15 years of age, have now been transferred to the police Juvenile Welfare Center.
The police in Kaduna State has rescued 19 children believed to be victims of human trafficking in Kafanchan, Jemaa Local Government Area of the state.
The children all between the ages of four months to 14 years old, were rescued by a team of police detectives following intelligence information about the activities of the suspects.
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh said the suspects were traced from Kafanchan to a facility at Gwagwalada area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The suspected child traffickers kept the children inside a house with the purpose of taking them to an unknown destination before luck ran against them.
A man identified as James Nwachukwu, who claims to be the father of one of the children said he was lured by a Reverend sister to his son to the orphanage home in Gwagwalada, when his wife died seven years ago, but did not know the suspects were into human trafficking business.
The rescued children have since been rehabilitated and those in critical condition are currently receiving treatment at the police clinic in the state capital.
The other children were rehabilitated for medical treatment to ascertain psychological and physical damages they might have suffered. The other children are in the custody of the command for proper profiling.
The Kaduna Police boss, Abeh, says an investigation is still ongoing to identify the parents of the victims as well as arresting more suspects who were part of the trafficking syndicate.
He, however, calls on parents and guardians to be mindful of the movement of their children in order not to fall victims in the hands of kidnappers or traffickers.
The Anti-kidnapping section of the Abia State Police Command has rescued a three months old baby from traffickers and handed her over to her mother.
While parading the suspects, the Commissioner of Police, Oyebade Adeleye, also said one of those who contributed to the trafficking, a 17-year-old Abigail Udofia collected the sum of 250 thousand Naira to sell her newborn baby boy.
According to him, the child was sold to one Esther Arukwe who resold the baby to a security lady at Comprehensive Health Centre, Oyingbo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the sum of 800 thousand Naira.
Adeleye frowned at the spate of child theft which he described as a crime against humanity that must not be allowed to continue.
He, however, said the increase in the number of operational stop and search points dedicated to ensuring that kidnapping is minimised, had yielded the desired result.
On its part, the state Anti-kidnapping section noted that investigation has been intensified toward recovering other babies.
No fewer than 16 children have been rescued from Child labour by the Nigerian Immigration Service in the last four months.
The NIS Comptroller in Ekiti, Mrs Oluremi Talabi, made the revelation in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, when a family from Netherlands paid her a visit.
Mrs Talabi stressed that no effort will be spared in tackling child trafficking and labour in Ekiti.
Speaking further on the rescued children, Talabi noted that of all the 16, only one of them was a boy and they were all between the ages of five and 14.
She also added that the rescued children had been re-united with their parents and guardians.
“Within this year alone, we have rescued 16 children from where they were being used for hard labour. When they are supposed to be in school, they would be washing plates, doing sorts of work and probably will be the last to go to bed.
“The sad thing is that people are going beyond child labour, they are using them for prostitution. We will keep fighting this until we record all round success.
“When children are trafficked, they are transported illegally and they are subjected to inhuman treatment because they know they can’t come out.”
The visiting family (the Boots) who were were led by the Director, Social Welfare in Ekiti, Dr Ayodele Ibikunle had adopted two children, Joshua, 18, and Victor, 14, in Ekiti in October 13, 2015 and had brought the boys home to see their parents in Ikere Ekiti town.
While Dr Ibikunle stated that about 60 children had been adopted from Ekiti state in total and taken to the Netherland and Sweden, Mrs Talabi expressed delight over the Boots’ visit, noting that it would help in erasing some of the misgivings about the adoption of children.