By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – A PASTOR of an Aba-based new generation church (names withheld) and six others were, yesterday, paraded by Abia State Police Command for alleged child trafficking.
The Police Command also paraded 13 suspected cultists from Abia State University, Uturu, arrested while at an initiation ceremony behind one of the hostels in the institution.
Also paraded were two other suspected kidnappers of a 16-year-old boy in Aba and three other persons that allegedly engaged in re-bagging Dangote cement at Omuma village, Aba.
Parading the suspects, Abia State Police Commissioner, Mr. Bala Hassan, disclosed that the arrest of the suspects was part of the commitments of the command to get rid of criminals.
Hassan said that residents of the state needed to have a closer collaboration with the Police in order to volunteer information that would assist the police in its work. He announced that investigations into the various allegations were ongoing.
The pastor, who hails from Abam in Arochukwu local government area in the state, in an interview, said the children were given to him with the consent of their parents. He admitted that he was paid N150,000; N180,000 and N50,000, respectively, for the three children he gave out.
He, however, denied that the children were sold as there was specific instruction to their custodians to bring them back to him after two years.
His trouble, however, started when the parents of the children demanded the whereabouts of their children.
One of the suspected cultists and a third year student of History and International Relations in the state university, said he was forcefully led into the act. He claimed that a friend tricked him to the back of Hostel C where they were having what he called dancing festival.
He said: “I met a group I have never seen before and they were later identified as members of Vikings Confraternity.”