Two arrested for trafficking 32 kids to Ekiti
Two alleged child traffickers, Stephen Udoh and Ede Thomas, have been arrested by operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for trafficking 32 minors to Ekiti for a yet-to-be ascertained purpose.
They were arrested for allegedly engaging in the trafficking of the underage from Benue to Ekiti and other southwestern states for child labour and prostitution.
The NSCDC Commandant in Ekiti State, Mr. Donatus Ikemefuna, who briefed newsmen in Ado Ekiti yesterday, said the suspects were fond of trafficking the children who are within the ages of five and 18 to those states for illicit business activities, describing the action as not only nefarious but callous.
Ikemefuna said they were arrested around 1p.m. on Sunday after his men in Counter Terrorism Unit, who had been trailing them, had gathered substantial evidence against the culprits, saying that many of the victims were primary and secondary school pupils.
He said the two, who are being detained by NSCDC, have been on the watch-list of the Corps for over two months, following intelligence
reports and strict monitoring of their movements in and out of the state in order to establish a prima face case against them.
He said: “During preliminary investigation, some of the unsuspecting victims confirmed that the duo of Udoh, a driver, and Thomas promised to give them jobs with good monthly wages in Ado-Ekiti, Igbonla in Ondo State, Ogbomoso and Oyo towns without details of the kinds of jobs, but this has proven overtime to be child labour in the fashion of house girl and prostitution.
“The victims confirmed that Thomas facilitates the business trips every month on special request from these states. Most of them affirmed that their parents are in the picture of the crime. The need to apprehend the suspects became necessary because the calls were much on the spate of child trafficking to Ekiti State,which can pose a threat in the nearest future. We are talking of 32 children here. Children are not goods that we can export and import,” he said.