Army Arrests Human Trafficker, Rescues Five Children

George Okoh in Makurdi

The Nigerian Army, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), has arrested a human trafficker, Samuel Out from Akwa-Ibom State, and rescued five children who were kidnapped from Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Briefing journalists yesterday at the headquarters of Nigeria Tactical Air Command, Nigeria Air Force Base in Makurdi, the Commander of OPWS, Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia, said troops of Sector 3 who were deployed in Nasarawa state, while acting on credible intelligence on the activities of human traffickers, arrested the trafficker at a transit park in Lafia LGA of Nasarawa State.

He gave the names of the underage children as Nasiru, Apinan, Khariat, Izan, and Adinan..

He explained that the ring leader of the criminal syndicate, on sighting the troops, abandoned the children and left them with Otu.

The commander of Operation Whirl Stroke further explained that during preliminary investigation, a Techno mobile phone was recovered from him, and during screening, some of his cohorts were discovered, including one Mrs. Tina Nkechi, a resident of Abuja, whom he confessed to be working for.

Major General Igbinomwanhia told journalists that the suspect has confessed to have adducted the children from their parents in Angwa Kabir village, Shendam LGA of Plateau State ,and were to be moved to Abuja and kept under the care of Mrs. Tina Nkechi.

The suspect, according to Igbinomwanhia,  ran out of luck in an attempt to transport the five minors to the federal capital territory and was apprehended, adding that the suspects and victims will be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The traumatized children, the commander explained, will be handed over to their parents by NAPTIP after all the necessary procedures.

He advised parents to  always check the whereabouts of their wards to avoid incident of kidnapping and trafficking

In a comment, the zonal commander of NAPTIP, represented by the head of operations, Mr. Felix Akperaga, said the agency would investigate to ascertain the true parents of the victims before they will be reunited with their families.

The five trafficked children who comprised of two boys and three girls within the ages of two to five years, were handed over to the officials of NAPTIP for further investigation.

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