According to Punch, A two-year search for a 15-year-old Togolese girl, Assana, has led to the arrest of seven human traffickers by the Zone F Headquarters of the Nigeria Immigrations Services in Ibadan.
One of the arrested persons is a man simply known as Cossy, the brother of the girl who has since been found and reunited with her family in Togo.
The Deputy Comptroller in charge of anti-human trafficking unit of the headquarters, Kola Sofuwa, who spoke on behalf of the Assistant Comptroller-General and Zonal Coordinator of the Zone F Headquarters, Mike Longe, said a letter, which declared Assana missing for the past two years, and which was addressed to the Nigeria Immigration Service triggered the search.
He explained that the girl was brought to Nigeria from Togo by her brother when she was 13 years old in 2013 without any travelling documents and was made to work for various end users, who paid various sums of money that never got to the victim.
“We got the letter in form of a petition and set out looking for Assana. We were able to apprehend the brother who brought her to Nigeria and involved her in a long chain of human trafficking ring. He first handed her over to a Togolese trafficking agent called Aishat in Eruwa who also contracted her out to one Alfa Sabe, 55, with an agreement of N60,000 annual wage that never got to the victim.
“One woman simply known as Iya Onigele also paid N72,000 for her services to a Nigerian agent, Iya Nofisat. When she could not endure the hardship, Assana ran away and unfortunately ended up in the hands of another agent, Titi, who is now at large.
Her final destination was the home of a pastor, Mrs Dorcas Afelumo, who also paid N72,000 for her in exchange for domestic services. Even the brother, Cossy, lost track of her before she was rescued at the clergy woman’s house,” he added.
Condemning the inhuman journey Assana was made to go through in her early life, Sofuwa said the girl who has since been reunited with her family in Togo while the arrested human traffickers would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons for appropriate penalty.
He promised that the other two accomplices at large would be apprehended soon, while noting that in 2015, 103 victims were reunited with their families in various West African countries by the Zone F Headquarters.