UK to prosecute more Nigerians over alleged human trafficking — Official

UK minister of state for immigration, Caroline Noakes
UK minister of state for immigration, Caroline Noakes. [CREDIT: Home Office in the media - GOV.UK]

The British government on Tuesday restated its resolve to ensure speedy prosecution of more Nigerians living in the UK involved in human trafficking.

The UK minister of state for immigration, Caroline Noakes, made the assertion during her visit to some facilities of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Lagos.

Ms Noakes, a Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, expressed displeasure over the high number of NAPTIP cases pending in different courts in Nigeria.

The minister said she would ensure complete prosecution of all the agency’s cases in the UK.

“We had a recent good success where the UK Government, law enforcement agencies collaborated with Nigeria in prosecuting human trafficker.

“It is a huge step forward to share information and share expertise.

“I am really appreciative of the Nigeria officials coming to the UK to give evidence in court to prosecute traffickers; that is a huge forward,” Ms Noakes said.

She commended the works done on NAPTIP facilities in Lagos, stressing that within few weeks of approving money for renovation, the facilities had gone beyond their expectations.

“I am here to see the change made on NAPTIP’s facilities by the UK Government.

“In just few weeks, the work done is impressive. The facilities are being changed for vulnerable women and people trafficked.

“It will be a safe place for them to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into the Nigeria society.

“The facilities will help the victims to be comfortable and go through rehabilitation,” the UK minister said.

Ms Noakes was appointed the Minister of State for Immigration on Jan. 8, 2018, while she was also elected Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North in 2010.

The NAPTIP South-West Zonal Commander, Kehinde Akomolafe, who received the minister, on behalf of the Director-General, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, commended the British Government for the assistance.

Mrs Akomolafe said that the responsibility of NAPTIP was huge which needed more assistance in any way possible.

She said the agency’s management was doing its best with the available resources, stressing that more suspected traffickers were being prosecuted with 11 cases currently pending at various courts in Nigeria.

Mrs Akomolafe said one of their officials was in the UK to testify in a case of human trafficking against one Cassandra Iyamu, assuring the Minister of more collaboration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UK Minister had inspected the building facility located at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, currently occupied by NAPTIP and NDLEA.

She also visited NAPTIP shelters for victims within the state.

The Airport Commander of NDLEA, Ahmadu Garbage and that of NAPTIP, Taiwo Waheed, were on hand to receive the minister.

(NAN)

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