Former Group General Manager of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Dafe Sejebor, has been arrested in the United States of America over human trafficking.
Mr. Sejebor and 46 others were arrested in an undercover sting conducted in the Katy area in Houston, Texas last month, according to local law enforcement officials.
Houston Police Department Sgt. John Wall said during a press conference Wednesday that 22 local, state and federal agencies partnered up for “Operation Tri Point” over the period of March 19-28 to tackle human trafficking in Katy and Fort Bend County.
Wall said 47 people were arrested in total; 27 of who were females, 20 were males. Eight were confirmed victims and eight were charged with human-trafficking related offenses. Wall said other charges such as sexual assault of a child, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon were also filed.
“What we know is that human trafficking is occurring. It’s not just an inner-city problem,” Wall said. “It’s occurring out in the suburbs. It’s occurring in smaller communities.”
The youngest victim was 16 years old and another victim was a runaway, according to Wall. He added most of the recruiting occurs online and through social media.
“I would say as much as 90 percent [occurs online] and through social media,” Wall said. “Young adults spend an enormous amount of time on social media and they are vulnerable…They don’t understand the risk involved.”
Wall did not explain how the task force apprehended the traffickers and discovered the victims but said resident tips and help from the community played a part in similar undercover stings.
Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton said the sting is a step in the right direction toward eliminating trafficking in the area.
“My office is committed to eradicating this problem in Fort Bend County,” Middleton said. “We realize it’s a serious issue and we are committed to combating it and making sure that Fort Bend County is safe and that these traffickers are run out of our county.”
Wall said the victims uncovered in the investigation will be given the appropriate support and services they need.
“We understand they are scared to come forward but we are going to do everything we can in our power to give them the services they need to move forward with their life,” Wall said.
Sejebor was appointed GGM of NAPIMS, a unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2015.
He was quizzed by the House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Public Procurement in 2016 over alleged illegal award of $260 million contracts by NAPIMS.
Speaking at the inauguration of a seven-member anti-corruption committee at the NAPIMS headquarters in Lagos in 2017, Sejebor said his organisation had saved the country between $3bn and $5bn.
He was replaced as GGM BY Roland Ewubare, a former Managing Director of the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) in September 2017.