Iniobong Ekponta, Uyo
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) said it has rescued no fewer than 32 victims who were traveling from Cross River State to some parts of western parts of western Nigeria.
According to the NAPTIP’s Zonal Commander in-charge of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers States, Mr Ikechi Nwachukwu, the victims were intercepted along Itighidi area in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Nwachukwu disclosed that the victims comprising 28 males and four females were intercepted by the officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) with two suspects and brought to the Uyo zonal office on January 11, 2016.
He gave the ages of the 28 males to be ranging from 15 to 21 while the four females range from 18 to 21.
“The officers of Nigeria Immigration Service intercepted these 32 young Nigerians who were traveling from Obubra and Yakurr Local Government Areas of Cross Rivers loaded in two buses.
“Two suspects who were conveying the victims in two buses are in our custody for interrogation”, he said.
The zonal commander lamented that in spite of the sensitization on human trafficking; parents still give out their children to traffickers for forced labour and slavery.
He warned parents not to yield to the antics and tactics of traffickers at the expense of their children future.
Mwachukwu assured that human traffickers will know no peace in the zone until they give up their trade of modern slavery which has given the country bad image.
He said that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.
One of the suspects, Mr Dennis Agbor-29 from Obubra, said he was arrested by the men of Nigeria Immigration Service at Itighidi, while travelling with nine of his brothers to Akure to work for him.
“I have pure water business and two restaurants in Akure. I met with their parents in the village and made arrangement for them to go and work for me and I will pay N120,000 for a year.
“The children will stay with me and work for me. I lack workers for my business so that is why I came down to take them to help me in the business,” he said.
However, one of the suspects, Mr Sunday Oyem-24, said he was traveling with his wife and three of his younger brothers when he was arrested by immigration officers and brought to NAPTIP office.
Akwa Ibom: NAPTIP Rescues 32 Victims Of Human Trafficking
Iniobong Ekponta, Uyo