The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has arrested four Nigerians for alleged human trafficking, rape and domestic violence.
At a press briefing on Friday at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, the acting NAPTIP’s director of investigations, Josiah Emeriole, said the briefing is in line with the agency’s ‘name and shame strategy’ of ending the twin problems of trafficking in persons and violence against persons.
Mr Emerole named one of the suspects as Stephany Bassey, a Sweden based 43 year old woman, from Akwa Ibom State.
According to Mr Emerole, Mrs Bassey was handed over to the agency by officers of the Intelligence and International Cooperation (IICU) through the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria.
Her arrest followed investigations on suspicions that Mrs Bassey was with a child intended for trafficking.
Mr Emerole said Mrs Bassey was at the embassy to procure travel documents for a two-month-old baby boy whom she claimed was her child.
”When she was brought to the agency, Mrs Bassey insisted that the baby was delivered by her. She claimed to have become pregnant for her husband in Sweden but also added that medical examinations could not detect the pregnancy over there.
”She said she was therefore, advised to return home to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where the pregnancy would be detected and she will be assisted to deliver safely,” the official said.
Mr Emerole said Mrs Bassey later ‘twisted’ the story saying the ‘fat’ in her body was too much and that a scan and medical examinations would not be able to detect the baby.
Mr Emerole said Mrs Bassey had never fed the baby who is now three months old now with her breast milk ”even for a day”.
Also a DNA was conducted on the woman and the child and the result clearly indicated that there was no biological relationship between the two.
Another suspect, Ifeoma Obinwa, 37 was accused of domestic violence. On September 12, she reportedly inflicted grievous body injury on her 14-year-old house help.
The victim, who was promised education had lived with the suspect since 2015 was never enrolled into school.
Mr Emerole said the suspect accused the victim of beating her child and ”punished her with a hot knife”.
Another, Francis Yusuf, a 37-years-old man from Plateau State and a staffer of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Abuja on September 13, also allegedly raped his wife’s cousin, who lives with them in their Jikwoyi, Abuja residence.
According to Mr Emerole, the suspect (Mr Yusuf) raped the 17 year old girl and locked her inside the house and left with the keys.
He added that Mr Yusuf, upon arrest was taken to his residence where it was discovered that the bedsheet was stained with blood source of which he could not explain.
Another suspect, 29-years-old Sandra Obiosio, an indigene of Rivers State who resides at Jabi area of Abuja alongside her husband procured a 12-year-old girl from Nassarawa State in 2017 as househelp and allegedly ”subjected the girl to all manner of abuse and ill-treatment”.
According to Mr Emerole, the little girl who was also promised education but was not enrolled into school.
Mr Emerole after the narration said all these cases are contrary to various sections of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015 (TIPPEA) and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 (VAPPA).
She said as soon as investigations are over, the suspects would be charged to court.
NAPTIP is the Nigerian government agency charged with the investigation of illegal trafficking of persons, rape and violence against persons.