A human trafficking suspect, Sunday Yakubu, has explained that he engages in the criminal activity as a result of his ‘good heart.’ Yakubu said he engaged in human trafficking to help the victims become useful citizens and to earn a living.
He also said that he was pushed into the crime because of poverty, adding that he thought he could stop as soon as he made enough money.
While being paraded before journalists in Ilorin on Thursday, Yakubu, who was nabbed by the Nigerian Immigration Services, Kwara State Command in collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, said he felt sad seeing minors in poverty. He said he wanted to assist them overcome poverty.
The suspect who claimed to be an indigene of Tangita in Benin Republic, said he took the minors from his wife in Tabeda, Baruten Local Government Area.
He added that he was conveying them to Ikoyi, Lagos State to work as beer parlour waiters. He also claimed that this was his first involvement in the business.
The Kwara State Comptroller, NIS, Mrs. Abimbola Abiodun-Ojo, said Yakubu was trying to traffic three minors when he was apprehended.
She named the victims as Margaret Sambeni (16), Pascaline Nanbuwa Tossi (15) and Saba Nanbuwa Tossi (13).
She also said that Yakubu had established a contact with a woman identified simply as Mummy Monday, a beer parlour owner in Ikoyi, where the victims would be used for menial jobs.
According to her, the victims are from Benin Republic.
She stated that the suspect and victims had been handed over to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons for further action.
Abimbola Abiodun-Ojo said, “On May 22, at Ilesha-Baruba, the suspect was intercepted with the effort of the National Union of Road Transport Workers because we had held a meeting with them that when they suspect any movement, concerning people moving in and out, they should intimate us.
“The NURTW members called our men in Ilesha-Baruba who took him and the girls into custody there. I instructed that they should bring them to the office. This suspect has collected these children from two different families because they are all Beninese. These girls are below 18, they are minors.
“Through our subsequent interrogation, we were able to find out that he is taking them to one Mummy Monday in Ikoyi close to Ogbomoso for labour, and he is to collect N6,000 on each of them as monthly wages for a year.
“He told us they were relations of his wife. We noticed that there is no relationship between these girls and this guy because he claimed they live in the same neighbourhood.
The NIS State Comptroller urged parents to take good care of their children and resist forcing them into child labour because of poverty.
According to her, parents must resist all financial pressures to allow their children engage in child labour or other illicit adventures.
She stated that if the girl child was well taken care, she could mature to become a very productive, responsible and influential member of the society.
She also said the minors could be exposed to dangers such as rape,
kidnapping and ritual killings if they are allowed to be involved in child labour.
She warned that the command would not tolerate any child trafficking and other unlawful acts that are within the purview of NIS.
Abiodun-Ojo also warned illegal immigrants in Kwara State to go back to their countries of origin voluntarily or they would be repatriated.
She stated that NIS in the state was determined and committed to ridding the state of illegal and irregular immigrants.
She added that the state NIS had dispatched its personnel to variousflash points across the 16 local government areas of the state toensure that there was no security threat to residents of the state from the illegal immigrants.
Abiodun-Ojo said NIS was working in collaboration and synergy with other security agencies in the state to sustain and even enhance security of lives and property in the state. She added that she would improve on the existing collaboration.
She pleaded with members of the public to avail NIS with necessary and useful information about the activities of illegal immigrants.
Abiodun-Ojo stated, “There had been in the past some irregular immigrants and we eased them out. We are even working at a border post, so that they do not come back illegally.
“For those that are still hiding in the state, as time goes on, we will get them and how they have been able to come in and what they do so that we don’t have so many public charges around us. We will also ease them out.”