Officers of the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze have arrested a suspected child trafficker, Joy Duru from Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State.
The suspect allegedly specialises in stealing children from Imo State and sells to her accomplices in Rivers State for a huge sum of money.
Parading several suspects at the headquarters of the 34 artillery brigade Obinze in Imo State, the Brigade Commander, Sani Suleiman said the suspects were arrested after several months of intelligence gathering.
He stated that the suspect usually carries out her illegal business in the guise of operating an orphanage home, adding that his troop also rescued a 23-year-old victim from the suspect, who is nine months pregnant.
Recovered from the suspect were forms said to have been gotten from teenage girls who get pregnant with the aim of selling the children upon delivery.
The Commander explained that efforts were ongoing to trace a suspected buyer of a two-week-old baby in Rivers State.
“We saw forms that indicated that she receives children from teenagers who have unwanted pregnancies or those who didn’t know what to do or are in need of money and bring in young men to impregnate them. She nurses them until they are put to bed, she takes the children,” he said.
“One of them is here with us. This girl is about 23 years old and is nine months pregnant and will deliver any moment from now. We got this girl from her and she has kept her waiting for her to deliver.
“We also discovered a two-week-old child. She is claiming that a woman brought her and we have made efforts to know who the mother is. She also confirmed to us that she has sold a two-year-old baby to the Amadi family. We are on the trail of the family and they abandoned their homes when our troops went there so that we can complete the (investigation).”
The army consequently handed over the suspects and some recovered children to the National Agency For the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Meanwhile, the State Commander of NAPTIP, Ernest Ogbu, said the suspects will be charged to court and necessary actions will be taken while efforts will Be made to reunite the recovered children with their families.
“The suspect was arrested following the report lodged at Agbara divisional headquarters by his wife, Bright Essien, who reported that sometime in October 2021, her husband, Kingsley Essien, informed her that he had secured a job for her in Bamako Mali and that he has assisted many people to that country for greener pastures before,” the statement issued on Thursday read in part.
“She explained further that being her husband, she didn’t suspect any foul play until she got to Mali only to discover that she has been sold to a human trafficker cartel headed by a woman at the rate of One million four hundred thousand naira.”
Oyeyemi said that while in Mali, the suspect’s wife was forced into prostitution, but later found her way to the Nigeria embassy in Bamako where she was assisted back to Nigeria.
The police spokesman explained that on getting to the country from Mali, Bright discovered that her son who was in the care of the suspect was nowhere to be found.
After lodging the report, the Divisional Police Officer in the Agbara division, Abiodun Salau, dispatched his detectives to go after the suspect and he was eventually arrested.
Upon interrogation, Oyeyemi said the suspect confessed to the commission of the crime, admitting that he sold the boy to somebody at the rate of N600,000.
While reacting to the arrest, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Lanre Bankole, ordered the transfer of the suspect to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation.
This is even as he ordered that the buyer of the son must be traced and arrested in order to recover the stolen child.
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Thursday said over 8,000 suspected traffickers have been arrested since its inception in 2003.
This is even as the agency said it has succeeded in rescuing 17,727 victims of human trafficking, sheltering and rehabilitating them within the past 19 years.
NAPTIP Director-General, Fatima Waziri-Azi, disclosed this at the ministerial weekly briefing at the State House, saying only 511 convictions were recorded owing to a lack of cooperation from the victims.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received another batch of 128 stranded Nigerian returnees from Libya.
The Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, who was represented by the NEMA Lagos Territorial Office Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye, received the Voluntary Assisted Returnees at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja on Tuesday evening.
The IOM-assisted returnees arrived aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 100 – 800 with registration number 5A-DMG.
Profiles of the returnees indicated that 80 adult males, 8 male children, and 2 male infants along with 30 adult females, 4 female children, and 4 female infants, were voluntarily assisted back to the country by the IOM.
A 29 years old distressed young woman, while narrating her ordeals, regretted how she had been misled by her mother to embark on a fruitless journey.
Miss Tosin Omole alleged that her mother was approached by a street sister who sweet-talked her into convincing her daughter to embark on the journey to Europe, but the final destination changed.
The unsuspecting victim obeyed her mother by embarking on the journey after pressures became unbearable; she left her three-month-old son behind in the care of her mum.
According to her, the child is bout 6 years old now.
Ms Omole narrated how the proposed journey to Europe became a hellish life of prostitution in Libya.
“My trafficker paid for the journey from Nigeria to Libya which started on 26th February 2016.
“Before leaving Nigeria, my trafficker had informed me that I will refund the money spent on me for the journey though she did not tell me the amount.
“I ended up paying her 2.2 million naira equivalent by engaging in aristo (prostitution) throughout my 6 years’ sojourn.
“After this, my initial trafficker sold me to another burga (trafficker), I paid 1 million to the new man, all the payment is through prostitution.
“Coming to Nigeria now with only 200,000 naira that I squeezed to save, I don’t want to see my mother till I have enough,” Ms Omole narrated.
When asked why would she be angry to the extent of avoiding meeting her son upon her return to Nigeria, she burst into tears, weeping bitterly.
‘My Experience Was Horrific’
In another case, Ms Blessing Muhammad, who believed that her mother did her a great favour for spurring her to embark on the journey to Europe, said every mother will be happy when her child is about to travel to greener pastures.
“My mum bought clothes and make-over stuff for me when I was travelling,” she narrated.
“A popular big sister at Akungba approached my mother and convinced that she would help me travel to Europe with the promise that I will be doing my hairdressing work or I can be doing housemaid to be able to raise money and support my mother and siblings.
“My mother has not been feeling well and she needs support; I was second to the last born in the family. My elder siblings cannot be supportive because of their economic status.
“My journey through the desert was horrific; I was to be buried, the grave had been dug and just as I was about to be thrown into the grave, I miraculously showed signs of life as I was told, I came back to life. I left Nigeria on the 3rd of January, 2016 and the cold was at its peak at the time; I died and resurrected; that was what I can say
“What I experienced in the desert was a child’s play compared to the inhuman treatment meted out to me by my burga (trafficker) who happens to be from my town and same street.
“Despite the fact that I fell ill as a result of the harsh weather in the desert, my trafficker forced me to be ‘dis-virgined’ on the day I entered Libya by fixing me up with a client.
“To God, I used my body (prostitution) to pay my trafficker a total sum of 4.5 million naira.
“The worst part of my experience was the mental instability I found myself in; this was due to various trauma I passed through in the hands of my trafficker.
“My trafficker took nine of us out of Akungba; presently I am the only one returning due to my health. Though I thank God that I am recuperating fast but I have to return to Nigeria in order not to relapse.
“Any time I shout out of anxiety or anger, the mental illness will resurface. “I cannot ask my enemies to embark on any journey out Nigeria to seek for any non-existing job at all.
“Our people are our enemies; they deceive us to leave Nigeria,” Ms Blessing Muhammed bitterly recounted.
Other agencies at the reception of the returnees included the Nigerian Immigration Service, Federal Ministry of Health, NAPTIP, FAAN, and the Nigeria Police Force.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested one Okoli Collins Ikenna, whom the agency described as a “notorious drug dealer,” for allegedly masterminding recent attempts to export illicit drugs to London in the United Kingdom through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).
NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Sunday disclosed that Okoli had been on bail following his arrest in November 2020 and subsequent arraignment before a Lagos Federal High Court for attempting to export 15.700kgs of Methamphetamine to Australia.
Series of investigations into recent multiple attempts to export illicit drugs to the UK led to the arrest of the drug dealer on Tuesday 2nd November when he was caught with 78 parcels of cannabis concealed in black soap packs and labelled as Dudu Osun, with a total weight of 12.250 kilograms heading to the United Kingdom.
Further investigation also linked Okoli to the attempt to export 7.350kgs of cannabis to the UK on Thursday 21st October, a consignment that was intercepted at the NAHCO export shed of the MMIA.
Curiously, a separate investigation by operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI) of the agency, attached to courier companies have equally traced two other attempts to export 47.7kgs of cannabis to the UK through courier firms to Okoli after his agents, arrested in the course of the investigation, named him as the owner of the consignments.
In the same vein, desperate bids by traffickers to export over 2 kilograms of cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis hidden inside containers of body cream, tea bags, vehicle oil, and air filters to London, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand through two major courier firms in Lagos have been scuttled by narcotic officers of the Agency.
Meanwhile, in Kano, a controlled delivery of an illicit consignment on Friday 5th November led to the arrest of two suspects: Ibrahim Sulaiman and Muhammad Sani Alhassan with 23kgs of Diazepam tablets; 2kgs of Codeine syrup and 32kgs of Exol 5 tablets, bringing the total weight to 57kgs.
Earlier on Wednesday, operatives of the Kano command of the agency had arrested one Mizambilu Tijjani, with 64kgs of cannabis sativa, and Victor Nsodikwa Chu-chu, with 34 cartons of Pentazocine injection and one carton of Diazepam injection in the Sabongari area of the city.
In Kogi State, operatives also seized a consignment containing 28.251kgs of Exol- 5; 6.6kgs of Barcadin Codeine Syrup; over 38.532kgs of Tramadol, bringing the total drugs seized to 73.808kgs.
In a related development, operatives of the Osun State command seized 130.518kgs of cannabis and 18grams of cocaine in the Modakeke area of Ile-Ife.
Impressed by the outcome of investigations that led to the dismantling of the suspected drug syndicate led by Okoli in Lagos, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA command, DOGI, and their counterparts in Kano, Kogi, and Osun for sustaining the heat on cartels across the country.
He urged them and their compatriots in other commands to intensify the offensive action against all merchants of death in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has rescued 10 suspected trafficked victims along the famous Babban Mutum Axis in Katsina State.
It was gathered that the victims comprise an 11-month-old baby girl, eight women and a man are from Delta, Edo, Lagos, Enugu and Ekiti States.
They were said to have been misled by their traffickers whose business is to ferry persons across the border through illegal routes for their selfish gains.
Briefing journalists on Friday at the command headquarters in Katsina, the NIS Commander, Comptroller Abdurrazaq Mu’azu said that none of the victims was in possession of any travel document with no means of livelihood.
He noted that the victims were rescued in their attempt to cross the border to the Niger Republic en-route Libya through one of the Nigerian illegal routes.
“I will like to assure the general public that Katsina State will no longer be used as a transit route for trans-border Crimes,” he said.
“As you can see before you, these ten suspected victims of Human Trafficking will now be handed over to NAPTIP Liaison Office, Katsina for further investigation, counselling, training, rehabilitation and prosecution as the case may be.”
The NIS Commander also advised human traffickers, migrant smugglers and their collaborators to have a change of mind and stop the illegal business, adding that the Service has provided a conducive atmosphere in terms of welfare and training to counter the challenges.
He also announced that this brings a total of 33 victims of human trafficking rescued and four suspected traffickers arrested by the command from March 19 to date.
This comes about two months after two suspects were nabbed in connection with human trafficking by operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Katsina State.
The suspects identified as Fatima Abdullahi, and Amadu Abdullahi, both from Lagos State were arrested on March 16th following an intelligence report received by the command.
In the process of arresting the suspects at Charanchi Patrol Base, 18 victims have been rescued.
The United States has funded a programme for Nigerian judicial officers, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials to boost efforts to tackle human trafficking in the country.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the spokesman of the US Consulate, Temitayo Famutimi, the retreat held in Lagos focused on improving the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases.
It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
“The retreat provided an opportunity for members of the judiciary and prosecutors at the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, to discuss the admissibility of electronic evidence in human trafficking cases under Nigerian law,” the statement partly read.
Participants engaged in a robust dialogue on witness management and protection and shared best practices and insights on broad areas of prosecuting and adjudicating human trafficking cases under the nation’s judicial system.
Speaking during the event, the United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, said that the retreat was a key component of a U.S.-funded rule of law project introduced in 2018 titled, “Strengthen the Capacities of State and Non-State Institutions to Assist, Support and Protect Victims of Trafficking (VoT) in Nigeria.”
“We are proud of our continued partnership with the Government of Nigeria with its continued efforts to build upon its successes in ensuring trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrant cases are prosecuted effectively and fairly and those convicted receive the appropriate penalties,” Pierangelo was quoted as saying.
The Consular General explained that under the project, the U.S. government in partnership with the UNODC Nigeria has been providing support to the Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Justice, NAPTIP and Nigeria Immigration Service, as well as civil society groups in different thematic areas of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
According to her, the initiative has recorded some remarkable achievements such as the establishment of a judiciary resource center at NAPTIP headquarters in Abuja that provides officers access to relevant tools and resources when investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons cases.
Other key accomplishments include support for the establishment of state task forces against human trafficking across the country and the development of a series of awareness materials on trafficking in persons produced for travel agents, airport personnel, flight crews, and passengers.
Police authorities in Ogun State have apprehended a 35-year-old suspected human trafficking kingpin, Comfort Innocent over the abduction and trafficking of two under-aged girls.
The police public relations officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi told Channels Television that the arrest of the suspect followed a report by one Oluwaseun Aduratola and one Sakirat Fasasi both residents of Siun town in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state who reported that the suspect abducted their daughters namely Blessing Aduratola 15 and Hasisat Fasasi 16.
They further explained that the suspect who is a notorious human trafficker is about taking the two girls to Libya where they will be forced into prostitution.
The police spokesperson added that following this, the Divisional Police Officer, Owode Egba division Mathew Ediae swung into action with his detectives, and through intelligence-driven investigation, they succeeded in arresting the suspect.
He said that on interrogation, the suspect confessed been a human trafficker and that she has been into the business for a long time.
“She confessed further that her husband is based in Italy while she stays in Nigeria recruiting young girls and sending them to her husband in Italy en route Libya where they will be used as prostitutes.
“Concerning the two girls she recently abducted, she confessed that the two of them had been taken to Kaduna State from where they will be transported to Libya,” the police spokesperson explained.
The two victims according to him have been rescued from Kaduna State by the police.
While noting that the State Police Command has commenced an investigation into the incident with a view to arresting the traffickers, Isah also confirmed the arrest of one Abdullahi Ibrahim.
The police authorities alleged that the 35-year-old Ibrahim, a native of Malabo village, Safana LGA of the state, is a notorious bandit terrorizing Safana and Batsari areas of Katsina.
“In the course of the investigation, one AK47 rifle and seven (7) rustled cows were recovered in his possession. The suspect is assisting the police in our investigation. An investigation is ongoing.
“On 15/12/2020 at about 17:30hrs, based on credible intelligence, the Command succeeded in raiding a criminal hideout at Rugoji Yartalata village, Kafur LGA and recovered one Pump action rifle, eight (8) cartridges, one fabricated revolver pistol, and some items suspected to be used in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The investigation is ongoing with a view to arresting the criminals,” the statement partly read.
“On July 25th 2020 at about 10:00hrs, one Shamsiyya Sani, aged 25 years of Dandagoro quarters, Katsina was delivered of a baby girl at Okomos Clinic, Kofar Kaura, Katsina.
“She later abandoned the child at the hospital with a handwritten note stating that she was born out of wedlock hence the abandonment.
“Nemesis caught up with them when they were arrested on their way from the hospital to their houses with the child through the help of a Keke Napep rider who suspected them of stealing of the child. An investigation is ongoing,” he said.
About 5,000 Nigerians are stranded in Lebanon, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) confirmed to Channels Television on Saturday.
The agency’s Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli said this while confirming a viral video of stranded Nigerian ladies in Lebanon calling out to the government and eminent Nigerians to help evacuate them from the Middle-East country.
Lebanon is mired in its worst economic crisis in decades, with the downturn sparking soaring inflation and plunging almost half the country’s population into poverty.
However many Nigerians are being trafficked into the country with the promise of good, well-paid jobs.
“About 150 of them have been captured, including the girls in the video, for evacuation,” Okah-Donli said.
But the cost of chartering a flight amid coronavirus-induced lock-downs across the world “is not cheap,” the NAPTIP chief added.
“When these ones are airlifted, another batch will cry for help,” she said. “The Federal Government can not fund this alone.”
Okah-Donli said she will meet with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq on Monday and work with State Governments to help facilitate the evacuation of the ladies.
Operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at Seme Border Control Post have apprehended three suspected human traffickers and three victims en route to Ghana.
The Service Public Relations Officer, Sunday James, disclosed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Tuesday.
According to him, the Comptroller of NIS in charge of the Seme Control Post, Olushola Ajisafe, confirmed the status of the victims as being trafficked after a thorough investigation.
James noted that Olushola, who was the former Comptroller in Katsina, had during his duty tour arrested several human traffickers and their victims in the state.
“The victims were deceitfully persuaded to embark on the trip for a job, but on being interrogated they were discovered to be victims of trafficking for the purpose of prostitution.
“The human trafficking illicit business has been on the increase under the various guise, but they have always been discovered by the officials through timely intelligence and operational synergy between officers along the national borders and airports leading to the arrests,” the statement said.
The Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, therefore, cautioned parents to keep eyes on their children, especially teenagers.
This group of people, according to him, are prone to fall victim to the deceitful acts and ways that make them believe the tricks of traffickers who may be close family members, friends and even sources on the internet connecting them to such criminal elements.
Babandede also advised parents to embark on proper guidance and counselling to prevent their children from becoming victims of trafficking.