The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has arrested one Emmanuel Stephen for allegedly trafficking his 21-year-old girlfriend to Mali for prostitution.
The agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Vincent Adekoya, confirmed the arrest in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
Adekoya said the suspect, who hails from Akoko, Ondo State, resides in Karmajiji, Airport Road, Abuja.
He said the suspect had in the past two years, been in a relationship with the trafficked girl, an apprentice in one of the beauty stores in Abuja.
During interrogation, the suspect allegedly confessed that his elder sister who lives in Mali had called him early in the year to request for a girl to be trafficked to her for menial job.
The suspect then allegedly convinced his girlfriend to undertake the trip to Mali and with the assistance of a “trolley” in Benin, Edo State, she was trafficked to Mali by road in April.
It was gathered that even though the suspect allegedly assured his girlfriend that she would only be a Beer parlour attendant to his sister in Mali, she was however, sold to another woman for N1.5 million and forced into prostitution.
According to the statement, few weeks later, due to the rigorous sexual activities with numerous partners, the victim has allegedly contracted a strange sickness that has put her health in a precarious condition.
It said even though the girl had managed to contact her family back in Nigeria, her ‘madam’ had refused to let her go until she recovered her investment.
The statement also quoted NAPTIP’s Director-General, Sen. Basheer Mohammed, as expressing sadness over the incident, with an assurance that the agency would work with other security agencies to ensure her release.
“I feel sad by the plight of the victim in question. NAPTIP in partnership with other stakeholders, will do everything possible to rescue her.
“We shall continue to heat all parts of the country to run human traffickers out of business in Nigeria.
“I wish to appeal to parents to be careful with the type of relationship their children keep. Many amorous relationships like the one that was stage-managed to traffic this victim, have ended up on a sad note.
“So, let us watch over our children and desist from giving them endless freedom even at tender age,” Mohammed cautioned parents.