By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”THE National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin zone, has arrested a Benin Chief, and four juju priests over alleged involvement in human trafficking.
The agency also alleged administering of oath to some girls who are trafficked abroad for prostitution.
According to the Benin zonal Head of NAPTIP, Barrister (Mrs) Olufunke Abiola, who spoke to Vanguard on the arrest of the Chief and the juju priests, the arrest of the Benin Chief of Benin Kingdom, is sequel to a petition by one Mrs Juliet Osifo who claimed that the chief sponsored her daughter,Â to Italy, enroute Libya but was trapped in Libya after she was arrested by the Libyan authorities.
She expressed worries over what she described as the incessant denials of the â€œfact that young girls of Benin decent are still in human trafficking and taken away for prostitution.
â€œNow as you would see, there is a very big case on hand that would prove to every body that no one is exempted, whether Benin, Urhobo, Itsekiri or Yoruba, every body is involved in this and it must stop.
â€œThe young girls are ignorant. Like I said, sometimes, we find it difficult to prove a case against these traffickers because the girl will not want to expose her trafficker and apart from that, they are put under oath.
â€œSo, this zone has been very very busy looking for all the juju priests that put some of the girls under oath. Some of them are even in our cell.
â€œWe asked them to go and renounce that oath of the life of that girl so that the girl can feel free to be a human being because the oath ties them down spiritually.â€
The Chief,Â who spoke to Vanguard, admitted that his daughter in Italy requested he should bring the lady to Italy to assist her in her beer parlour, but that she was, however, stuck in Libya.Â â€œSo what we are doing now is to see how we can bring her back to Nigeria so that she can stay with her parents,â€he said.
Meanwhile, over 500 indigenes of Edo state who have been languishing in Libyan jails arrived Benin weekend, just as they appealed to both the state and federal governments to assist their colleagues who are still left in the Arab country to come back home to avert further deaths of the Nigerians.