By Ahmed Ajikobi
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Kwara State Command on Tuesday arrested three suspects for human trafficking in Ilorin.
The suspects were said to specialised in trafficking young girls to Lebanon for purposes of child labour and other related abuses.
The suspects included a 63-yrs Lebanese, Wasit Muhammad, Barr. Olatunji Sanusi Taofiq and Tunde Awwal, 27. One Joseph also a member of the gang is said to be at large currently.
According to the Command Public Relations Officers Ayeni Olasunkanmi, the are was made possible through a coordinated intelligence, provided by the command following a tip-off.
“The State Commandant, Bello Ale has afterwards ordered full scale investigation into the matter with view to unraveling other syndicate, thereafter hand them over to the relevant agency for onward prosecution”.
A video made by the victim suspected to be from her base in Lebanon had gone viral since last week where the lady highlighted her plight and deteriorating and threatening health condition in her place of work.
According to her in the soul touching video, Omolola who was crying for help before its gets too late for her said she is made to do laborious menial jobs for her madam whose husband has made several attempt to sexually harass her.
Reacting to the development through his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye in Ilorin Friday, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq condemned in strong terms the rising trend of human trafficking in the country, describing it as inhuman and unacceptable.
He vowed that anyone caught should face the full weight of the law.
“The governor of Kwara State is horrified by the video footage of one Ms Ajayi Omolola, a victim of human trafficking whose parents live in the Kwara state capital but was tricked into traveling to Lebanon in the guise of engaging her as an English tutor. It turned out to be a case of human trafficking and slavery,” the statement noted.
“The governor condemns this development in the strongest terms possible and has immediately linked up with the security agencies to get to the root of the matter.
“We are glad to announce that three suspects, comprising two Nigerians and the Lebanese referred to in the footage have been arrested in connection with the case and they are being interrogated.
“Apart from Ms Ajayi, discreet investigations by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence corps, NSCDC, Kwara state have revealed that there are at least 28 other victims of the trafficking gang,” the statement added.
The Governor according to the statement, is also linking up with relevant Federal government and international agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, to ensure release of Ms Ajayi and others from the human bondage.
Commending the civil defence corps command, for the great work so far done on the matter, Governor Abdulrazaq expressed concern that fellow human beings were engaging in another round of slavery despite the horror and unquantifiable loss in the 20th century.
He asserted that Kwara will never tolerate such inhuman and unlawful trade while calling on the citizens to expose any of such activity they may know of.