June 22, 2009

Immigration nabs 2 suspected human traffickers, frees 4 victims

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Sokoto — The Sokoto State Command of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has arrested two suspected human traffickers named Mrs. Ajero Florence, 40 and Mr. Anthony Onyinjechukwu, 31 along Ilella–Konni border.

With the traffickers, who claimed to come from Imo State, were three young girls and a man, holding fake ECOWAS certificates issued in Lokoja, Kogi State.

The victims are Silas Georganna Chidalu, 19, with ECOWAS certificate No. 232/0068761; Sunday Favour Itohan, 19, with ECOWAS certificate No. 232/0068397; Chukwudi Chinso Blessing, 16, with ECOWAS certificate No. 232/0069229 and John Philip Uchenna, 30, with ECOWAS certificate No. 232/0068587.

The suspected traffickers are Mrs. Ajero Florence, 40, holding MRP passport No. A2955944, valid until February 2010 and Mr. Anthony Onyinjechukwu, 31, with a national identity card No. 0070288742.

Parading the victims along with the suspected traffickers before newsmen, State Commander of Immigration, Alhaji Muhammadu Dangoggo Argungu, said the arrested persons were heading to Libya through to Italy from Konni in Niger Republic, adding that the woman confessed travelling from Imo State to Konni.

Answering questions from journalists, the victims said they were on vacation and thus, visiting their parents, who were living in Konni.

Argungu said the travelling documents would be forwarded to the Immigration Headquarters for further investigation while the arrested persons would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation and possible prosecution.