The Jigawa State Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has raised concern that some villagers within the border communities in Jigawa State were harbouring suspected human traffickers operating along Niger Republic borders.
The comptroller of immigration in the state, Ismail Abba Aliyu, raised the alarm while briefing newsmen on the rescue of four young women suspected to be victims of human trafficking.
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He said they were rescued on Thursday in Gurin village, along Babura road from Kano to the Niger Republic en route Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
He said the feat was achieved by the Operation Salama team ‘A’ of the command operating along the Kazaure, Babura and Ringim axis of the state.
Aliyu said the suspected victims, all females, from the southern part of the country, included one each from Lagos, Ogun and Osun and Akwa Ibom states respectively. He added that 26 others and the driver of the vehicle conveying the girls escaped.
Also paraded was one Mukhtari Zubairu, a level 13 staff of Babura Local Government Council, who was suspected to be an accomplice.
He said the suspect was arrested while discussing with the driver of the vehicle conveying the victims when operatives arrived at the scene.
Aliyu said his men were on the trail of a businessman in Babura, Mukhtar Abdullahi, who he described as a known leader of all human traffickers in that axis, adding, “We are still trailing him.”
He lamented that the villagers did not only prevent the operatives from arresting the trafficked young women but also attempted to beat them, thereby preventing them from carrying out their legitimate duties.
He said he would soon embark on an enlightenment campaign on border communities against such acts in the future
But the suspect denied the allegation, saying, he was only at the scene because the driver of the vehicle who was his friend invited him to discuss other business.
In separate interviews with newsmen, the young women confessed that they were on their way to Tripoli, Libya.