The Edo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has apprehended one Innocent Godfrey, a human trafficking agent in the state.
Naija News understands that Godfrey was arrested while trying to sneak out of the country six female Christian teenagers who he made to disguise as Muslims by wearing hijabs.
The names of the victims are Success Okogbowa, 17, Gift Osabuohien, 18, Endurance Edigho, 18, Gift Edigho, 17, Oghayero, 19, and Happiness Oliver, 16.
Reports had it that they were billed to travel to Cote d’Ivoire and Libya when they were discovered by the security men.
Edo Commissioner of Police, Phillip Ogbadu, on Friday at the state’s police headquarters in Benin paraded the victims of human trafficking and their agent.
The CP disclosed that the teenagers were intercepted on Thursday by the police at Isihor checkpoint in Benin, on the ever-busy Benin-Lagos Road.
Ogbadu explained further that the victims, who were from Delta, Edo and Enugu states, but all residing in Edo state, were recruited for the journey by Godfrey’s elder sister.
Edo police commissioner stated that men of the command were able to intercept the teenagers and their agent, following intelligence report.
He said: “It is a case of human trafficking. They will be handed over to officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), for rehabilitation.”
Godfrey disclosed that the teenagers’ journey was arranged by her unnamed elder sister, for someone in Libya.
Speaking at the police headquarters, Godfrey said: “I am not the one conveying them. I am going to Libya, while they are going to Cote d’Ivoire. We were arrested by the police at the checkpoint in Isihor. I am not the one trafficking the girls. The person that is trafficking them is in Libya and he paid money to sponsor the girls.”
One of the teenagers, Endurance Edigho, disclosed that they were recruited by Godfrey’s elder sister, at a birthday party of one of their friends. Edigho said: “She (Godfrey’s elder sister) asked if I would like to travel out of Nigeria and that the available works are cleaning, house help and prostitution. I told her that I would prefer being a house help and she asked me to join them. We went to the house of the person that would take us on the journey and we stayed there for three days. We were arrested on Thursday at the police checkpoint. On searching our vehicle by policemen, they found Indian hemp with one of the boys in the vehicle and took us to the police station.”
The teenager also admonished females, especially teenagers, not to allow themselves to be lured with false promises of a better life abroad, but to either face their studies or learn trades in Nigeria, in order to meaningfully contribute to societal development.