January 14, (THEWILL) – Operatives of the Kwara State Police Command, have arrested three suspected human traffickers and rescued 41 children at Okolowo, a suburb of Ilorin, the State capital.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Okasanmi Ajayi, said the suspects were arrested at about 4:00 am on Saturday, along the Okolowo expressway, Ilorin.
“A detachment of Policemen on special security assignment intercepted the trio of Musa Ayuba, 44, Jeremiah Muda, 35, and Luka Ayuba, 37, all of Bangi village via Kotangora, Niger State, with 41 young boys and girls (22 boys and 19 girls) with their ages ranging between five and 15 years, while waiting for a lorry that was to convey them to their destination in Ilorin.
“The suspects, while undergoing interrogation, claimed to be coming from Niger State to Ilorin to meet a certain pastor to enrol the children in a yet-to-be-determined school,” the statement said.
But the Command said the claim looked spurious and would be discreetly investigated, “as it is highly suspected to be a case of child trafficking,” adding that the children are presently in the custody of the State Police Command.
“Investigation and contact with the children’s parents and guardians are ongoing,” the statement added.
The State Police boss, Paul Odama, cautioned parents and guardians, against releasing their children to unknown or deceitful child traffickers, “as the children might be used as house helps and other despicable endeavours, which is against the child rights laws.”
The Police boss also said the suspects would be charged to court after thorough investigation.