Over 250 persons including children, men and women within the age range of 4 to 27yrs were being transported by the bandits in different batches, using commercial buses.
They were on the way to Lagos when they were intercepted and arrested by the soldiers.
A very distraught Commandant of Army Record, Lokoja, Major-General Alphonsus Chukwu, lamented why people will do such a thing to kids of such age grades, describing it as barbaric and criminal.
The Army Commander told Channels Television that further investigation has revealed that the suspected trafficker has being in business of shipping these children from different parts of the country to Lagos for over a decade.
“Our investigations have revealed that he has being in the business for over ten years and you know, every day is for the thief but one day is for the owner”he said.
The suspected trafficker, Sunday Agbo, an indigene of Benue state, initially explained that he was only trying to help convey six boys to their father in Ikorodu, in Lagos.
But his claim ran contrary to the narration of one of the teenage girls being trafficked as she explained in broken English incoherently, that the man-Mr Agbo- took her from her village after the closure of their school and promised to bring her back to the village in December.
When asked what she was to do in Lagos, she replied, “he is carrying me to go do work.”
Mr Agbo later recounted his claim, confessing that “what I did is that if a girl can work for N10,000 they (the employer) will give me my own (commission out of the money) and the rest they will pay it to the person (victim).”
Another suspected trafficker, told Channels Television that some of the children are orphans and they do not have money or any other way to survive, so they agree to go and work in Lagos.
The military intercepted many more victims as the days went by, with children of different age grades, mainly from Benue state being rescued.
When the drivers of buses used for the transportation were questioned, they claimed they were paid to convey the people to states in the South-West part of the country.
Major-General Chukwu later stated that the suspected traffickers would be handed over to the police for prosecution.