31 Victims Trafficked From Zamfara, Katsina Return Home

Some of the returnees…

 

No fewer than 31 persons trafficked mostly from Katsina and Zamfara states, through Benin Republic, and taken to Burkina Faso, have safely been returned home.

Out of the 31 victims, the return of seven was facilitated by the Nigerian embassy in Burkina Faso while the Katsina State Government assisted the return of the remaining 24.

While receiving the returnees at his residence, Governor Aminu Masari told journalists that the state government had cut down bureaucratic processes to the lowest level to facilitate their safe return at little cost.

READ ALSO: Police Uncover Another Baby Factory In Lagos

“According to him (one of the victims), six of them that had money on them decided to come back on their own. So whether they are back or not, we don’t know because we don’t know their names.

“We will find out from them if they know their names and their identities. We will find out whether they are back or they are not back,” he said.

The governor promised to continue to liaise with foreign missions and ensure the return of all trafficked Nigerians.

Modern Slavery: Police Rescue 300 ‘Tortured’ Persons In Kaduna

 

Three hundred persons chained together in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State have been rescued by police officers. 

The 300 which included children were rescued following a raid at a home allegedly used as an Islamic Centre.

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According to the police, the victims are from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries.

Channels Television gathered that adults were subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers, allegedly accompanied by torture.

There are also claims that some of the children had been sexually abused.

While the man who runs the home claims that parents brought their children to the home for rehabilitation, the children with chains on their legs and scars of injuries from torture on their bodies, say they are forcefully subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran. They added that, to them, the bursting of the building by the police is liberation from slavery.

The Proprietor of the centre, however, denied the allegations of molestation and homosexuality as totally false, saying that all they do in the centre is to teach people Islam.

He also claims that those in chains are the stubborn ones who attempt to run away.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State commissioner of police, Ali Janga told journalists that preliminary investigation reveals that the place is neither a rehabilitation centre nor an Islamic school.

He assured that the command will get to the root of the matter to ascertain the real motive behind the centre.

The rescued children have been evacuated from the premises to the Kaduna Police command headquarters for proper profiling,  while an investigation continues on the mode of operations of the suspects and their motive for setting up the centre.

Rigasa, an agrarian community in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State,  apart from being the most densely populated community in the state, is also predominantly inhabited by Muslims.

How We Intend To Fight Human Trafficking – NAPTIP Boss

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Julie Okah-Donli

 

Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Barrister Julie Okah-Donli, has explained how the agency intends to fight the scourge of human trafficking.

According to Okah-Donli, new means have to be used to curb the activities of traffickers because they themselves keep deploying new strategies in their illicit business.

She, therefore, believes that the solution to dealing with the menace decisively is to properly educate the masses on the dangers of the activity.

“We need to carry out this sensitisation and awareness campaign aggressively in all the states because when you concentrate on one state, what it does is that the traffickers move to the next, the next and the next (state),” she said on The Chat airing on Channels TV.

“So we must have this massive awareness campaign simultaneously in all the states and that is why we went ahead to set up Human Trafficking Task Force in some states”.

READ ALSO: Xenophobia: Ramaphosa Sends Special Delegation To Nigeria, Seven Other Countries

One of such states, is Edo State where according to her, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration oversees the Human Trafficking Task Force.

She, however, called on other governors to step up their game and join hands to effectively fight the menace in the country, while also calling on parents to adequately cater to their children to prevent them from being victims of human trafficking.

When asked if she is more passionate about NAPTIP or her Non-Governmental Organisation, Okah-Donli replied saying: “I cannot separate one from the other. I am passionate about everything.

“At the end of the day, they are all service to humanity. My NGO is service to humanity, NAPTIP is also service to humanity. If you look at it closely, they are all related,” she said.

Conflict, Climate Change Enable ‘Human Trafficking To Flourish’, Says UN Chief

 

 

To mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has stressed that “human trafficking is a heinous crime that affects every region of the world” – especially women and children.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), some 72 per cent of detected victims are women and girls, and the percentage of child victims has more than doubled from 2004 to 2016.

“Most detected victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation; victims are also trafficked for forced labour, recruitment as child soldiers and other forms of exploitation and abuse”, Mr. Guterres said in his message on the Day, marked annually on 30 July.

Many of those falling prey to traffickers are migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers who have left their country of origin for various reasons.

Pointing to armed conflict, displacement, climate change, natural disasters and poverty as factors that “exacerbate the vulnerabilities and desperation that enable trafficking to flourish”, the UN chief emphasized that “migrants are being targeted”.

“Thousands of people have died at sea, in deserts and in detention centres, at the hands of traffickers and migrant smugglers plying their monstrous, merciless trades”, he continued.

Mr. Guterres also spotlighted the “everyday indifference to abuse and exploitation around us”, mentioning that “from construction to food production to consumer goods, countless businesses and enterprises benefit from the misery”.

Speaking on the need to step up protection for the most vulnerable, Mr. Guterres added that most countries have the necessary laws in place, but “more needs to be done to bring transnational trafficking networks to justice and, most of all, to ensure that victims are identified and can access the protection and services they need”.

“On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us reaffirm our commitment to stop criminals from ruthlessly exploiting people for profit and to help victims rebuild their lives”, concluded the Secretary-General.

“Profound changes are needed in States’ approaches to migration and trafficking”, said Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, in a statement marking the Day, stressing that “restrictive and xenophobic migration polices and the criminalisation of migrants, as well as of NGOs and individuals providing humanitarian aid, are incompatible with effective action against human trafficking”.

Presenting social inclusion as the “only and right answer” to exploitation and trafficking, Ms. Giammarinaro argued that “politicians fuelling hatred, building walls, condoning the detention of children and preventing vulnerable migrants from entering their territories are working against the interests of their own countries”.

Highlighting that what is needed is “safe, orderly and regular migration”, Ms. Giammarinaro asserted that making provision for the social integration of migrants is “crucial also for victims of trafficking, including women suffering discrimination, gender-based violence and exploitation, and children subjected to abuse during their journey, especially when travelling alone”.

Solidarity and friendly social environment needed during recovery process
The Special Rapporteur added that survivors of trafficking need “solidarity and a friendly social environment to regain control of their lives”, flagging the need for financial resources during that process.

“Access to remedies is not limited to compensation”, she continued, “but it also encompasses restitution, which implies the reuniting of families and the restoration of employment for victims, as well as guarantees of non-repetition”.

Ms. Giammarinaro urged all States to “remove obstacles hampering access to justice for victims by giving residency status to people who have been trafficked, and by ensuring they are not detained or prosecuted for illegal activities they may have been involved in as a result of being trafficked”.

The UN expert added that the empowerment process for survivors of trafficking should include education and training, “opening new paths to help them acquire new skills and equipping them for job opportunities”.

“I believe that effectively including survivors in society and valuing their potential, skills and expertise can give them an opportunity to rebuild and change their lives, prevent re-trafficking and actively contribute to the dismantling of criminal networks”, she concluded.

UN Special Rapporteurs serve in their individual capacity, independent from any government of organization.

Focus on protecting migrants

Also marking the day, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued a statement from the United Nations Network on Migration calling on the international community to accelarate its efforts to stop human trafficking and to protect those who fall victim to traffickers.

Reiterating that migrats are particulary vulnerable, the statement stressed that “countries need to urgently adopt holistic, human rights-based approaches to counter-trafficking which place migrants and their protection at the centre”.

Globally, countries are identifying and reporting more victims and convicting more traffickers, according to the latest UN Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Despite some progress, however, “victims continue to face significant obstacles in accessing assistance, protection, redress and justice”, the statement added.

Obaseki Seeks Stiffer Punishment For Human Traffickers

Obaseki

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has called for a stiffer punishment on human traffickers, especially cartels propagating the dastardly act.

Obaseki made this call on Saturday in commemoration of the World Day for International Justice by the United Nations.

He believes that if the International Criminal Court metes out appropriate sanctions on perpetrators of human trafficking, the menace of illegal migration will be reduced to the barest minimum.

“As countries and sub-national actors work towards curbing human trafficking and illegal migration, it is important to stress that there is an international angle to the campaign due to the extensive network of the perpetrators of the act.

“So, we need stiffer measures and a more holistic approach to mitigating the menace,” he said while decrying the rate of illegal migration.

While reiterating his administration’s commitment to effectively address the situation, the governor recalled that his state has enacted the “Edo State Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law (2018) and the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT).”

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Obaseki noted that these laws, coupled with Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law and the Child Rights Law are “legal instruments that underpin our commitment to protect our people and rid the state of tyranny against vulnerable persons.”

He wants the ICC to investigate the activities of cartels who exploit unsuspecting people by leading them into what can best be described as modern-day slavery.

In doing so, he expressed the readiness of the state government to partner the ICC and other international agencies in the fight against human trafficking.

NAPTIP DG Raises Alarm Over New Human Trafficking Tricks

NAPTIP DG

 

The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, has raised an alarm over what he described as new tricks employed by human traffickers.

Okah-Donli who was speaking during an interactive meeting with the Edo State Task Force against trafficking in Benin City lamented that the menace appears to have heightened despite measures to curb it.

She urged all stakeholders to be vigilant as they go about their duties while also dismissing the notion that only underage girls can be victims of trafficking.

Read Also: Libya Returnees Protest Against Alleged Exploitation In Edo

“You must beam your searchlight on transporters. Go to the motor parks because this is where they take these girls from. Then you go to the waterside, they take the boats too,” she said.

“By the time you seize one bus, prosecute the bus owner, prosecute the driver, trust me they will stop carrying people.

“The traffickers are not waiting for us, they are always on the move and they are very fast, so we must be ahead of them at all times. Then you also have to look at orphanages.

“There’s a lot of orphanage trafficking going on but a lot of people don’t know.

“Some of them actually kidnap children from the local communities on the streets and put them there.

“Human trafficking is not about underage girls so when you talk about underage girls, you miss the point.

“I can be trafficked; a 50-year-old woman can be trafficked. Anybody can be trafficked so it’s not about underage girls. Even boys can be trafficked as well”.

Also speaking on the matter, the chairman of the Edo State Task Force, Yinka Omorogbe, stressed the importance of collaboration by stakeholders in tackling the scourge.

She also promised that the agency will work with the tips shared by NAPTIP during the meeting.

Three Persons Accused Of Trafficking 35 Pregnant Women, Others Arrested In Aba

Kidnap Suspects

 

The Police have arrested three persons suspected to be involved in human trafficking in Aba, Abia State.

The suspects were accused of trafficking 35 pregnant ladies, six children and one newborn baby.

One of those arrested was said to be the owner of a charity home in Aba.

While parading the suspects in Abuja, the deputy Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Csp Aremu Adeniran, said the owner of the charity home situated in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Aba, established the orphanage for the sole purpose of harvesting babies for sale.

Adeniran, further stated that the home had been in existence for about 10 years.

He said investigation into the case is ongoing and those found guilty would be made to face the law.

Read the full statement of the Police below.

PARADE OF THREE (3) NOTORIOUS SUSPECTS FOR CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY AND DEALING IN BUYING AND SELLING OF NEW BORN BABIES AND CHILDREN WITHIN AND OUTSIDE NIGERIA; BY THE DEPUTY FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, CSP AREMU ADENIRAN AT THE FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA. 2nd NOVEMBER, 2018.

Thirty-Five (35) pregnant girls/women, six (6) children and one (1) newborn baby rescued at the Nma Charity and Rehabilitation Centre Umunkpeyi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government, Abia State belonging to Chief Lilian Nma Achumba.

SUSPECTS
i. Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs
ii. Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs
iii. Chief Lilian Nma Achumba ‘f’ 52yrs (Owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State).

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni on assumption of Office on the 22nd June, 2016 expanded the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force under the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) for improved service delivery and to be more effective and efficient to nip in the bud and deal with all forms of crimes and criminality as regards the rights and privileges of women and children.

2. The Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force in compliance with the directives and their expanded mandate have been working in good working synergy with relevant agencies of Government in the fight against the trafficking of persons and abuse of rights and privileges of women and children.

3. On the 20th of July, 2018, the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Immigration Service while on patrol at the Idi-Iroko Border Post in Ogun State, intercepted the above named suspects, Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs and Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs in possession of two (2) new born babies and on reasonable suspicion, interrogated them about the babies in their possession, but they could not give satisfactory account of the babies. The case was handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force for discrete investigation.

4. Investigation into the case by the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force revealed that the suspects arrested are notorious criminals that deal in buying and selling of babies and children within and outside Nigeria.

5. Consequently, the suspects, Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs and Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs admitted and confessed to the Police investigation team that they are members of a criminal gang that specialize in buying and selling of new born babies and children within and outside Nigeria and have been in operation for over ten (10) years. They further confessed that the two (2) new born babies found in their possession at Idi-Iroko Border was bought by them at the rate of Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N350,000.00) from one Chief Lilian Nma Achumba ‘f’ 52yrs, owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State now in Police custody. They also revealed that they were on their way to Benin Republic to sell the two (2) new born babies to their cohorts and criminal business partners/syndicate for Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N700,000.00) each.

6. During interrogation and further investigation into the roles played by Chief Lilian Nma Achumba ‘f’ 52yrs, the owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State indicted in the confession of the two (2) suspects, Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs and Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs, it was discovered that the purpose of establishing the Orphanage Home is to harvest babies for sale and she also operate other branches of the orphanage home in Port-harcourt and some other parts of the Country.

7. Thirty Five (35) pregnant girls/women, six (6) children and one (1) new born baby were rescued at Nma Charity and Rehabilitation Centre Umunkpeyi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State belonging to the said Chief Lilian Nma Achumba. Twenty Eight (28) pregnant girls/women and three (3) children of the victims rescued have been officially handed over to the Ministry of Strategy and Social Development, Umuahia, Abia State and all have since been re-united with their families after receiving medical attention. The Principal suspect Chief Lilian Nma Achumba has admitted and confessed to her criminal roles in the case.

8. Investigation is being intensified to uncover other illegal orphanage branches being operated by the Principal suspect, to rescue victims and arrest other members of the syndicate still at large to curb the menace and bring them all to justice. They will all be arraigned in Court on completion of investigation.

9. The Nigeria Police Force wishes to implore members of the public to give useful and timely information on unscrupulous elements in the society hiding under the guise of orphanage rehabilitation homes to perpetrate these dastard and callous acts. The Force also enjoins Parents and Guidance to pay keen attention on the care of their wards and children especially the girl child.

CSP AREMU ADENIRAN
DEPUTY FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FORCE HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA

Edo Govt Claims Returnee Migrants Partly Responsible For Human Trafficking

The Edo State Government on Thursday decried the high rate of human trafficking, claiming that returnee migrants were responsible for the ugly trend.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Anti-Human Trafficking, Solomon Okoduwa, stated this during a town hall debate on migration, human trafficking and jobs organised by Channels Television and DW.

He said, “Those returnees of last year, last two, three years who have seen demands in Libya, who have seen Cephas in Niger, who have seen Dollars in Europe now come to Nigeria to see that they don’t have a home to stay.

“They don’t have room to stay, they don’t have food to eat. You see the depression (in them). They used to feed at least two times a day when they were in Libya even though they were in the mess of these hostilities going on there and they say the road is open, let’s go.”

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Anti-Human Trafficking, Solomon Okoduwa.

Okoduwa further stated that the government is worried about the activities of human traffickers and has set up a task force that would collaborate with relevant agencies of government to curb the menace.

“That is what the governor has identified. He set up a task force against human trafficking, then he domesticated the federal laws to deal with those people – the offenders here in Benin.

“He also gave us a mandate which is to intensify advocacy in the rural areas to ensure that the potential migrants don’t fall victim,” he said.

In the past few months, the Federal Government has evacuated over 2,000 Nigerians trapped in Libya as the increased trend of illegal migration and inhumane treatment of the migrants sparked global reactions.

The migrants have been returned home in several batches through the help of relevant agencies of government.

NAPTIP Seeks More Collaboration With Edo Judiciary Against Human Trafficking

Director-General of NAPTIP, Juli Okah-Donli with the chief judge of Edo State.

 

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is seeking more collaborations with the Edo State judiciary to combat the trend of human trafficking in the state.

The Director-General of NAPTIP, Juli Okah-Donli, made the appeal during a visit to the Chief Judge of the state on Wednesday.

She commended the chief judge for designating two courts for expeditious handling of cases of human trafficking.

“I want to express deep appreciation for dedicating two courts to human trafficking cases which will make for accelerated hearing.

“As a matter of fact, when we heard the announcement, we had to pop some champaign. That’s how excited we were because we know what it’s like when cases are pending or when cases are not tried expeditiously,” Okah-Donli said.

The NAPTIP team also inaugurated empowerment projects for rescued victims of human trafficking in Benin City the state capital.

Benson-Idahosa Decries Trafficking Rate In Nigeria

The Founder of Pathfinders Justice Initiative, Evon Benson-Idahosa, has expressed her dismay over the high rate of trafficking of persons from the country.

Speaking at The Platform in Lagos, a programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre yearly to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence, she said Nigeria is considered as a human transit destination country when it comes to human trafficking.

Evon Benson-Idahosa revealed, according to a report that most Nigerians have been victims of human trafficking, with over a million Nigerians within the country also used as slaves, the reason why the nation is reportedly placed 32nd in a trafficking survey of 157 countries.

“According to the latest report, Nigeria is ranked 32nd out of 157 countries that we recently assessed. It is believed that Nigeria has 1.38 million slaves within the country. I believe that number is considerably higher.

“But what we are most infamously known for is the sexual trafficking of our women out of Nigeria into Europe,” she stated.

Her comments come six months after the Federal Government made efforts to evacuate trapped Nigerians from Libya, since the outbreak of the illegal migration that has sparked a global reaction.

A data from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) showed a breakdown of the figures in batches as obtained by Channels Television in February this year.

In the first batch of Nigerian returnees, 488 comprising 395 males, 88 females and five children arrived from the troubled North African country where they were subjected to dehumanizing conditions referred to as modern slavery.

It was observed that Edo State topped the list with 273 males, 65 females and two children while Bayelsa, Benue, Kano and Nassarawa States, on the other hand, had the least representation with just one male. Kogi and Ondo states similarly had just one female representation each.

Human Trafficking Is Part Of Terrorism, Says NAPTIP

Human Trafficking Is Part Of Terrorism, Says NAPTIP
(File) NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, addressing a gathering at a town hall meeting. Photo: naptip.gov.ng

 

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has identified human trafficking as one of the components of terrorism.

NAPTIP Director General, Julie Okah-Donli, warned that the trend is a major threat to good governance and the rapid economic recovery of any nation, a statement by the agency said on Thursday.

“Gaps in national security portend a great threat to social and economic goals,” she was quoted as saying while delivering a paper titled ‘Mass Exodus of Youths and National Development: A Case of Nigeria – Libya – Europe Migration Trend’ at an event in Delta State.

“Research has proven a strong link between weak migration system and insecurity as migrants sometimes become objects of criminal exploitation.

“Nigerian government over the years and particularly, under the current administration holds a unique philosophy for national security which is to establish a safe and secure environment,” Okah-Donli added.

She also identified illegal border crossing, document forgery, abuse of human right, kidnapping, money laundering, drug trafficking, weapon trafficking and violence against persons (VAPs) as offshoots of human trafficking.

According to the NAPTIP DG, these also serve as major components of illicit crime networks capable of breaching and sabotaging the positive elements of national security.

She revealed that Delta State ranks third among source states for victims of human trafficking, coming after Edo and Kano states.

“As stated earlier, almost all the states in Nigeria are affected by migration and human trafficking,” said Okah-Donli. “Ika community is under the jurisdiction of Benin Zonal Command of NAPTIP which covers Edo and Delta States.”

She added, “From inception to June 2018, the agency has rescued a total of 12,939 victims across Nigeria. Out of this number, 822 are from Delta state and 132 (representing 16.06% of victims from Delta State) are from Ika community.”

“By the end of July 2018, the number of victims rescued from Delta State alone rose to 831 from 822, with the addition of nine more victims recorded as at June 2018.”

The NAPTIP boss proposed that human traffickers should be treated as enemies of the state while the phenomenon should be tackled the same way as the fight against terrorism in some parts of the country.

She decried that victims of human trafficking were ready tools in the hands of any trafficker who could use them for nefarious purposes, including activities that pose a threat to the security of the nation.

Also addressing the audience, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta decried the rate of human trafficking in the state.

He urged parents to advise their children to stay in the country and avail themselves of the available opportunities that would better their lives.

Governor Okowa stated that embarking on a deadly journey was not the best alternative to any challenge that may be confronting the nation.

The event was organised by NAPTIP in partnership with stakeholders to enlighten Nigerians across the six geo-political zones of the country on the dangers of human trafficking, child labour and irregular migration among others.

Immigration Rescues Seven Human Trafficking Victims In Katsina

Immigration Rescues Seven Human Trafficking Victims In Katsina
Victims of human trafficking and a suspected trafficker paraded by the Nigeria Immigration Service in Katsina State on August 15, 2018.

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it has rescued seven victims of human trafficking in Katsina State.

The Comptroller of Immigration in Katsina, Mr Ajisafe Joshua, disclosed this on Wednesday during a press briefing at the Command Headquarters in the state capital.

He said the personnel of the Service also arrested a woman suspected to be involved in trafficking business.

Mr Joshua added that the victims, who were between the ages of 11 and 44, were rescued by officers stationed at the Jibia Magama Control Post.

According to him, three of them were from Oyo State and two from Lagos while the remaining two persons were from Bayelsa and Ogun states.

The Comptroller noted that with the latest development, the command has intercepted two suspects and rescued 18 victims of human trafficking in the last one month.

He said the Immigration was committed to monitoring the nation’s expansive borders effectively, adding that they would not relent in their efforts to put an end to the menace and to save unsuspecting Nigerians from wicked people.