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NAPTIP rescues 6-month-old child sold for N.6m

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said it has rescued a six-month-old baby sold for N600,000. The child was recovered…

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said it has rescued a six-month-old baby sold for N600,000.

The child was recovered from an orphanage in Imo State during an operation last week following a tip-off by an informant.

It was gathered that the child’s mother, Emediong Asuquo, a teenager from Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, sold off her child for N600,000 due to economic difficulties.

According to Asuquo, she and her boyfriend (father of the child) could not take care of the baby and opted to keep the baby with anyone ready to take care of the child till she could fend for herself with the baby.

Asuquo said her friend, Stella Effiong arranged for the child to be sold off in Abia State.

However, Asuquo said she was surprised that after the baby was sold to somebody in Abia State, Stella Effiong, but did not give her anything from the proceeds from the sale.

She said it was after the baby was sold in Abia State that the child was taken to an orphanage in Imo State, where the baby was rescued.

Speaking on why she arranged the sale of her friend’s child, Stella Effiong said she was moved by her friend’s unceasing complaints of lack of food to take care of herself and the baby.

“Emediong usually comes to complain to me that she would stay for days without eating anything and her boyfriend always beat her without even providing any assistance for her and the baby,” she said.

NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Uyo, Mr Emmanuel Awhen, identified poverty as a major cause of human trafficking.

Awhen said an investigation into the case was still ongoing, adding that the agency was determined to stem the tide of trafficking in the state.

“Human trafficking, especially the sale of babies is very high in Akwa Ibom State. In fact, during the December period, we embarked on a lot of enlightenment campaigns because that was the peak period when people came in to lure young ones out.

“We need resources to carry out the operation and go for investigation. We also need vehicles to go on operation. We need financial support from government and other agencies to shelter, feed, train, and empower those rescued trafficking victims,” he stated.

 

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