By Henry Uche
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) yesterday reunited five rescued children with their parents. The children under the age range of 4-7 were abducted at various times by one 32 year old Musa Abdulrahman and were sold to unsuspecting women in different parts of the country in the guise of adoption.
A statement signed and delivered by the Head, Press and Public Relations of NAPTIP, Stella Nezan, revealed that the Director General, Imaam Sulaiman – Ibrahim, while handingol over the children to the very happy parents at the Headquarters of NAPTIP, called on parents to ensure adequate protection of their children to avoid incidences of kidnapping, abduction, trafficking and other crimes against children.
NAPTIP DG cautioned the parents on the need to watch their children closely and not to expose them to risk of being easily accessible to traffickers and other criminal minded persons roaming around seeking for who to devour.
“You must be careful and watchful over your children at all times. There are ravenous people in all nooks and crannies of the country,”
Giving an account of how the children were rescued, the Director-General explained that operatives of the Agency mounted surveillance on the suspect who hails from Nkonni Enagi, Edati, Niger State for a while following intelligence reports that the Economics Graduate from the University of Maiduguri (name withheld) kidnaps children from Niger State and sells them to some families in different parts of the country in the name of adoption and claiming to be a staff of the Ministry of Social Development of Niger State in charge of adoption matters, and issues the would be parents adoption papers purportedly from the Niger State Government.
Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim further stated that luck ran out on him when through a sting operation by the operatives of Agency he was caught red handed while helping some ‘’clients’’ fill their adoption application forms and other papers.
Acccording to the Statement, the suspect, confessed to have kidnapped and sold six children under the guise of adoption. He further confessed that he started the kidnapping business in 2016 and that all his victims were from Niger State. He also confessed to have forged some adoption documents which he issued to the people he sold the kidnapped children to. He further confessed that he collected the sum of 100,000 for each of the children.
“All the six children have been rescued by the Agency while parents of five have been traced. Operatives are still making efforts to locate the parents of the last child. The suspect has also been arraigned in Court in accordance with the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (TIPPEA) 2015,” she said.
While promising diligent prosecution of the suspects, the NAPTIP Boss called on the general public to continue to assist the Agency with useful information that will lead to the arrest of child traffickers in the Country.
She also appealed to couples and other members of the public who are challenged and in need of children to endeavour to follow due process so as to avoid any problem arising from any form of illegality as children are not commodities to be sold at will.
In their response, cross section of the parent who were elated to see their children, thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria and Management of NAPTIP for rescuing their children and promised to take adequate care of the children.