The Nigeria Police Force has arrested two suspected human traffickers, Ejiofor Izuchukwu and Nzube Okafor, for allegedly attempting to traffic 10 girls to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos State, Usman Belel, who confirmed this during a press briefing on Friday, said the victims were rescued in the Republic of Benin, following an intelligence report received from a non-governmental organisation through the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
He said, “On August 8, 2021, the bureau received an intelligence report from a non-governmental organisation through the Nigeria Police Force State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, that 10 girls were about to be trafficked to Dubai, UAE, through Cotonou and were lodged at NIS Hotel, near Scoa Gbeto, Cotonou, Republic of Benin, preparatory for their departure.
“The National Centre Bureau, Abuja, INTETPOL, was able to inform our counterpart at NCB in Cotonou, who swung into action and apprehended two suspects, rescued the 10 girls and repatriated them to Nigeria. The names of the suspects are, Ejiofor Izuvhukwu and Nzube Okafor. The rescued victims are, Gold Uwaifor, 13; Ella Moses, 21; Abigail Onyenweaku, 26; Alex Destiny, 21; Ebri Ikpi, 23; Samuel Igwe, 24; Debby Noyogiere, 23; Eneh Inalegwu, 21; Akuchi Nndubuisi, 32; Happiness Ndukwe, 25.”
The AIG added that, in the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the traffickers belonged to a syndicate based in Dubai, with some agents in Nigeria and Cotonou.
“They (suspects) were able to secure some of the victims’ passports from Nigeria while others were obtained from the Republic of Benin with the assistance of some immigration officers who backdated the stamp on their passports to fulfil the two weeks quarantine period despite their arrival at the Republic of Benin some days before their rescue. They were scheduled to be airlifted on August 19, 2021, to Dubai. On this note, the 10 girls are hereby handed over to the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons for further actions while the INTERPOL assists the agency in locating and arresting other members of the syndicate in their countries of residence,” he added.
In another development, the AIG confirmed the arrest of four suspects, Owolabi Sodiq, 28; Michael Shittu, 28; Olaide Opeifa, 40; Olanrewaju Maja, for allegedly killing one Ifeanyi Godfrey, 52, in the Ijede Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
He explained that one Oluwatosin Onamade wrote a petition against the suspects, adding that the command commenced an investigation and arrested the suspects who confessed to the crime during interrogation.
Belel said, “The suspects were alleged to have murdered Ifeanyi Godfrey, 52, at Western Funeral Home Limited Cemetery, Compound, Abule Eko Bus Stop in the Ijede Local Council Development Area, Ikorodu, Lagos State. The case was investigated by DSP Bologi Abdullah and his team. The suspects’ statements were taken under caution where they confessed to the crime; search warrants were executed at their house and premises where the stick they used to murder the victim was recovered. Efforts are still being intensified to arrest others at large.”
@ Punch Newspaper