Headlines | 23 April 2015 13:10 CET

Immigration arrests 17 for human trafficking

By Tribune/Oluwatoyin Malik

The Comptroller of Immigration in Oyo State, Mr Innocent Akatu has described as worrisome the rate at which children of school age are being trafficked into child labour market in Nigeria, urging the media to help in spreading the message of the evil trade.

The Comptroller stated this on Wednesday, at the headquarters of the Oyo State Command of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Ibadan, while parading 17 people arrested in connection with human trafficking.

Among the 17 persons were three adults said to be the trafficker and the distributors of the trafficked children while the rest were children between eight and 17 years old.

He gave the name of the trafficker as Ibrahim Sanni (30) and the distributor as Mrs Jumoke Musa (30) with her husband, Musa Badmus.

Akatu told the Nigerian Tribune that the children were intercepted at Iseyin town of Oyo State border patrol officers while they were being transported from Ilesa-Baruba in Kwara State to Oyo town, adding that unlike the cases treated in the past, all the current victims were Nigerians.

He revealed that the first journey of the trafficker was successful as he handed over three victims to Mrs Musa less than two weeks ago before the arrest, saying that the three victims were found in her house and rescued.

He expressed displeasure at the way the victims were being used to make money instead of being sent to school.

“Unfortunately too, the money paid on them does not go to the victim but the trafficker and those who hire them out. It is slave labour and this is what the government is trying to fight and discourage,” Akatu said.

“We have contacted NAPTIP and we will hand them over to the body for possible prosecution after they have carried out their investigation,” the Controller added.

He emphasised that the fight against human trafficking and child labour would be a continuous exercise “until we reduce it to the barest minimum.”

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