By Charles Nwabardi
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, on Friday in Benin said that the Command has rescued seven teenagers from being trafficked overseas.
He said the victims were rescued following an intelligence report on Thursday. The victims included six girls and a male, who were allegedly billed to be trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire and Libya.
The commissioner gave the names of the victims as Innocent Godfrey (male) 20; Success Okogbowa 17; Gift Osabuohien 18; Endurance Edigho, 18; Gift Edigho, 17; Oghayero, 19, and Happiness Oliver, 16.
He explained that the girls, who disguised as Muslims by wearing hijab, were intercepted by the police at Isihor police checkpoint, Benin City, on the Benin-Lagos highway, disclosing that the victims, who are from Delta, Edo, and Enugu States were all residents in Edo. They were allegedly recruited by Innocent Godfrey’s sister for the journey.
“They are minors, six girls and one boy, on interrogation we found out they were being trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire by relation to Godfrey.
“It is a case of trafficking. They will be handed over to National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) for rehabilitation,” he said.
In an interview, Godfrey said the journey was arranged by her sister for someone in Libya.
“I am not the one conveying them. I am going to Libya while they are going to Cote d’Ivoire. We were arrested at the checkpoint in Isihor.
“I am not the one trafficking the girls. They asked me to pay N200,000, but the person that is trafficking the girls is in Libya and he paid money to sponsor the girls,” he said.
One of the girls (name withheld) said they were recruited by Godfrey’s sister at a birthday party of one of their friends.
“She asked if I would like to travel out and that work is available there; cleaner, house help, and prostitution. I told him I will do house help work and she then asked me to join them.
“We went to the person that took us for the journey and stayed there for three days.
“We were arrested on Thursday at police check-point when searching our vehicle, they found Indian hemp on one of the boys in the vehicle and took us to the police station,” she said.