Operatives of the Edo State Police Command on Thursday rescued six girls and a boy who were allegedly being trafficked to Cote d’ Ivoire and Libya.
The victim are, Innocent Godfrey (male) 20, Success Okogbowa 17, Gift Osabuohien 18, Endurance Edigho 18, Gift Edigho, 17, Oghayero 19, and Happiness Oliver 16, all female.
The girls who disguised as Muslims by wearing hijabs were intercepted at the Isihor Police Check-point, Benin City on the Benin-Lagos Road.
The victims who are from Delta, Edo and Enugu states but residents of Edo were allegedly recruited by Godfrey’s sister for the journey.
While addressing journalists on Friday, the state Police Commissioner, Philip Ogbadu, said the police were able to intercept the victims following intelligence report.
Some of the victims were minors. On interrogation, we found out they were being trafficking to Cote d’ Ivoire by one Godfrey. It is a case of trafficking. They would be handed over to National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons for rehabilitation.
In an interview with newsmen, Innocent Godfrey said the journey was arranged by his 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 check point in Isihor. I am not the one trafficking the girls. I also paid N200,000 for this trip but the person trafficking the girls is in Libya and he paid money to sponsor the girls,” he said.
One of the girls, Endurance Edigho, 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 the jobs that are available are cleaning, house help and prostitution. I told her I will work as an house help and she asked me to join the others.
We stayed with the person that is taking us on the journey for three day. We were, however, arrested on Thursday at a police check-point. One of the boys in the vehicle had Indian hemp in his bag and that was how we were arrested and taken to the police station,” she said.