NAPTIP arraigns Lebanese, two Nigerians for trafficking Omolola Ajayi

NAPTIP arraigns Lebanese, two Nigerians for trafficking Omolola Ajayi

National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Monday said it had arraigned a Lebanese and two Nigerians before a Federal High Court in Ilorin, Kwara for alleged trafficking of a female Nigerian to Lebanon for exploitation.

Mohammed Hamze, 62, and the Nigerians, Adetunji Sanusi, 34, and Tunde Awwal, 27, were charged with three counts bordering on human trafficking and foreign travel promoting prostitution or other forms of exploitation.

NAPTIP’s spokesman, Vincent Adekoye, in a statement, said the arraignment was part of NAPTIP’s determination to end human trafficking in Nigeria through prompt prosecution.

Mr Adekoye said the suspects were arraigned after investigation into the “much-publicised case of a Nigerian female (Omolola Ajayi) who was trafficked to Lebanon allegedly for exploitation, whose video went viral on social media platforms across the country about three weeks ago and was subsequently rescued and brought back to Nigeria.”

The alleged offences, he said, contravene sections 18 and 27 (a) & (b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

The spokesman said the case was transferred to the agency by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Kwara after which the three suspects were arrested.

Adekoye quoted the Osogbo Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Saadu Mustapha, saying further investigation revealed that about 16 victims were trafficked to Middle East countries by the suspects, out of which only three had been rescued through the collaboration of civil society organisations, the Nigerian Embassy and other partners.

According to him, the three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ilorin.

Justice B. G. Ashigar adjourned till February 26, 2020, for commencement of trial.