NAN – The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Oyo State says it has arrested a pastor and four others for alleged child trafficking in Ibadan.
Mr Innocent Akatu, the controller of the service in Oyo State, announced the arrest on Saturday, noting that the accused persons were arrested in various locations in Ibadan.
He said that the suspects would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) for appropriate legal actions.
The service also paraded 12 boys and four girls for allegedly being used by the accused persons in child trafficking.
“We have young children being taken away from their parents under the pretext that the traffickers would get jobs for them or give them better standard of living,’’ he said.
The controller said that many of them were brought into Nigeria from Republic of Benin, Togo and other neighbouring countries.
“They were sold into slavery by those who brought them into the country but the Federal Government will continue to fight human trafficking,’’ he said.
The controller said that some of those arrested claimed that they were from Republic of Benin and Benue in Nigeria.
He made particular reference to a boy of nine years old who claimed to have been brought from Benue to Ibadan by his brother and sold into slavery.
“These children do not receive the wages paid on them, the money goes to the people who brought them and so, it is pure slavery.
“Before, when we arrested children like these, we reconciled them with their parents; even the foreigners would be taken to their countries.
“But we now felt that the method did not help in checking the problem, that is why we are handing them over to NAPTIP for appropriate legal actions,’’ Akatu said.