PREMIUM TIMES publishes some of Ms. Ovuorie’s communications with the office regarding aspects of her difficult investigation and her challenge in managing the environment of the human trafficking criminals.
As the Nigerian government opens its investigation into the workings of the ruthless human trafficking mafia exposed by PREMIUM TIMES, in partnership with ZAM CHRONICLE, a leading civic anti-corruption group in the country, Integrity, spoke in Abuja Tuesday, of the need to connect the investigations to the larger crime of corruption in the country of which human trafficking is a predicate offence.
“On whether the investigations would yield an outcome as “epic” as the exposé itself is another thing altogether, but one thing is sure- a young, relatively unknown, woman has made an impact, said Soji Apampa, Integrity’s chief executive, remarking that from “Tobore’s report, a vice that allows human trafficking thrive is corruption.”
Mr. Apampa argued, “Until somebody chooses to act against the status quo of apathy and fear, bribery and corruption will morbidly rape this country of her every honour before our very eyes. Nothing will change till someone believes that now is time to wake up and expose the corrupt in our society.”
Thursday in Lagos, however, PREMIUM TIMES met with officials from the statutory agency with a lead mandate on the crime, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters, NAPTIP, accepting to work in partnership on the investigation.
“We need to commence investigation to bring the syndicate to book,” Arinze Orakwue, NAPTIP’s head of media and communications, said, stressing that “further delay might hamper law enforcement efforts,” as he and other officials at the meeting painted a gruesome picture of the world of the traffickers and NAPTIP’s daily challenge with the crime.
The agency however pledged “responsibility to make sure that the reporter is safe.”
In its 2013 Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons, TIP, report, the United States Department of State urged the federal government to take proactive measures to investigate and prosecute government officials “suspected of trafficking-related corruption.”
The report stated that although Nigeria remained in Tier 2 status because the government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; it is making “significant” efforts to do so.
The report of the four-month long investigation by Tobore Ovuorie, Senior Investigative Reporter, PREMIUM TIMES, shocked the world, with Nigerians prevailing on law enforcement agents to swing into action. It was so shocking that some terribly dazed Nigerians have in the past week been arguing on social media over whether the report is fact or fiction.
Integrity has amplified the call for a thorough investigation again as PREMIUM TIMES publishes some of Ms. Ovuorie’s communications with the office regarding aspects of her difficult investigation and her challenge in managing the environment of the human trafficking criminals.
“If Tobore can make a difference, you can. Don’t keep silent” Integrity said calling those who are willing to take up public integrity issues to visit its site, register, and seek support.”
Some of reporter Tobore Ovuorie’s SMS communication with her office (only about the investigations) paints the sorry state of a nation at the messy side of human values. The messages are in text speak, placed in quotes, and are being published unedited. The editor’s responses follows on the right.
Note: Only delivered sms communications received by the office are published, with some apparently undelivered as can be seen in the communications.
PREMIUM TIMES is offering the information to law enforcement agencies in aid of investigation of the story.