Human trafficking: Police rescue six teenagers in hijab, male agent

Six female Christian teenagers, who disguised with hijabs as Muslims, and an alleged male agent of human traffickers, Innocent Godfrey, 20, have been arrested by the police in Edo State.

The teenagers: Success Okogbowa, 17; Gift Osabuohien, 18; Endurance Edigho, 18; Gift Edigho, 17; Oghayero, 19, and Happiness Oliver, 16, and Godfrey were billed to travel to Cote d’Ivoire and Libya.

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.

Ogbadu disclosed that the teenagers were intercepted on Thursday by the police at Isihor check point in Benin, on the ever-busy Benin-Lagos Road.

He noted 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 revealed 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.

He 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 check point 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 check-point. 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 better life abroad, but to either face their studies or learn trades in Nigeria, in order to meaningfully contribute to societal development.

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