The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, in collaboration with Police have arrested 8 members of a child trafficking syndicate for allegedly stealing and selling a three-month old baby boy in Ebonyi State.
It was gathered that the baby boy was sold to a woman in Abuja at the cost of N910, 000.
The NAPTIP Desk Officer in Ebonyi State, Florence Onwa, explained that the baby boy known as Agbanwe Agbanwe Omogo and his 17-year-old mother, Miracle were lured by a family friend known as Chinonye Agu from their community Abogodo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State to Onitsha in Anambra State.
She noted that the suspected trafficker drugged Miracle and took her baby away and later sold him to one Philip from Awgu in Enugu State who later sold the baby boy to other persons in Kogi and Abuja.
Mrs. Onwa however stated that Miracle’s uncle invited police to arrest the suspect when she brought Miracle back to Ohaukwu to inform him that the baby died in Onitsha when his mother developed mental illness.
Narrating her ordeal, Miracle alleged that before her baby was sold, she was drugged with herbs by the suspected trafficker who later took her to a shrine in Kogi state while she was unconscious.
Miracle’s uncle Cyprian Enyi commended NAPTIP and Ebonyi State Police Command for recovering the baby.
The Director, Child Development and Social Welfare, Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr. Godwin Igwe, appealed to relevant authorities to assist the Ministry in the rehabilitation of Miracle and her baby.
Confirming arrest, the police spokesman in the state, Loveth Odah, said the suspects had been charged to court.
NAPTIP secures 7 convictions of human traffickers out of 75 suspects arrested in 2017 in Benin Zone.
Meanwhile, the Benin Zonal Command of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said it secured seven convictions of human traffickers in 2017.
Mr. Nduka Nwanwenne, Zonal Commander said the convictions comprise suspects in Edo and Delta states noting that the convictions ranged from five to 14 years in prison.
Speaking in Benin, he said that no fewer than 75 suspected traffickers were arrested within the period, while about 3,000 victims were rehabilitated.
He further said that no fewer than 500 victims were rescued within the period.
The zonal commander also said that about 30 Cases were still pending in court, with 40 cases still under investigation.
He said the major challenges facing the zone include: denial of cases of human Trafficking, family pressure on victims to go abroad as well as failure of victims to appear in Court to testify.
Nwanwenne said that empowerment of rescued and rehabilitated victims were capital intensive and solicited for assistance from well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations.
He, however, said that the command remained highly focused and dedicated to the vision of the Director-General of the agency, Julie Okah-Donli’s great passion to end human trafficking in the country.