The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has secured the conviction of 70 persons involved in human trafficking in Edo and Delta states.
NAPTIP Commander in Edo, Nduka Nwanene, disclosed this yesterday in Benin during a sensitisation workshop for traditional and religious leaders on irregular migration and human trafficking organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
He said, “As at last week we had over 70 convictions in Edo and Delta states under the command since 2006. But we have no conviction in Bayelsa State, also under the command.”
According to him, the agency has over 70 other cases pending in state high courts within Edo and Delta states.
He said, “Traffickers have moved from the cities to the rural communities to recruit their victims. So, the assistance of the traditional and religious leaders is needed in tackling the scourge.”
He further said the agency was carrying out sensitisation and advocacy campaigns to schools to educate pupils on the ills and disabuse their minds about irregular migration, while also seeking partnership with churches and mosques so as to reduce the scourge.
On her part, the Secretary, Edo State Task Force on Human Trafficking, Itohan Okungbowa, said the state government, in collaboration with IOM, assisted in the voluntary return of 6,000 victims since 2018.
She said, “Over 3,000 of these victims were being paid stipends for three months to help them in their reintegration process.”
Earlier, Aigbeze Uhimwen, Senior, Project Assistant at IOM, Benin office, said the essence of the meeting was to bring stakeholders under one platform so as to proffer solutions to irregular migration.
He said, “We hope that with this engagement the issue of human trafficking will be brought to the front burner and devise solutions on how to end it.”