By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The Coordinator, Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) North Central Zone, Sector 3 Ilorin, Kwara State, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters said the team was able to arrest three sets of Human traffickers and rescue a total number 80 children.
Peters said the rescue children were handed over to Immigration and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) for next line of action.
The Comptroller disclosed this while giving the stewardship account of the team in the last three months on Wednesday in Ilorin.
He also disclosed that, five illegal immigrants (women ) were arrested in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The suspects were-: Fatima Mohammadu (38) from Niger Republic, Judith Kofi (29) from Ghana, Fanta Camara (30) from Mali, Fadima Taore ((37) from Chad, Fatimata Camara (39) from Benin Republic.
According to him, “Three sets of Human traffickers making the total number of 80 (Specifically Children) already handed over to Immigration and NAPTIP.
“To actualize JBPT mandate which comprises of ONSA, NIA, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Army and other agencies of Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) while conducting stop and search along Lokoja – Abuja highway, on the 21st of February, 2021, at about 1200 hours, intercepted one Mazda 626 with registration number ABJ 187 BF, conveying five (5) women from Zuba Abuja to Lokoja in Kogi State.
“On searching the vehicle, 15 bundles and 18 pieces of wrappers were found to be concealed in a bonnet and other components of the vehicle.
“The preliminary investigations revealed that the five women are from different countries (Chad, Ghana, Mali and Niger Republic). They were found to be illegal immigrants without any means of identification.
“Investigation further revealed that they operates as a syndicate comprising of two groups, specializes in duping and stealing of women wrappers and most times uses charm to perpetrate their crimes.
“One group operates in Kaduna and the other in Kano axis, prominently on big shops selling women’s wrappers as their targets.
“The 2 groups came into the country through Katsina and Seme illegal routes. The suspects are-: Fatima Mohammadu (38) from Niger Republic, Judith Kofi (29) from Ghana, Fanta Camara (30) from Mali, Fadima Taore ((37) from Chad, Fatimata Camara (39) from Benin Republic.
“The driver of Mazda 626 Mufutau Woye (34) is a Nigerian from Kwara State but reside in Kubwa FCT Abuja as a commercial driver.
“He was only hired to transport them “to and fro” Kogi State. Fatima Mohammadu (Nigerien) is the leader of the group. She invited and harbored Fadima Taore into the country.
“A Nigerian, Aisha by name resident in Kano, met Fatima Mohammadu and Judith Kofi in Libya and brought them into Nigeria. Fatimata Camara and Fanta Camara were brought into the country by their Nigerian boyfriends from Benin Republic but were later abandoned in Nigeria.
“Fatimata Camara, Fatima Mohammadu and Fanta Camara confessed to stealing 15 bundles of the wrappers worth N255, 000 in Kogi State,” he explained.
Peters said the suspects would be handed over to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.
According to him, as part of effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria to implement the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) on the 18th of December, 2020, the Federal Government announced the reopening of four land borders; Seme in Lagos, Illela in Sokoto, Maigatari in Jigawa and Mfun in Cross River States.
He said, “This equally led to the change of Names on 10th December, 2020 from Joint Border Operations Drill (JBOD) to Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) as part of a Tripartite Operation, comprising Benin, Niger and Nigeria.
The Sector boss added that, Sector 3 has recorded 128 seizures which includes- 1,584 Foreign Parboiled Rice 48 Units of used vehicles,7 Motor Cycles, 1,864 Jerri Cans of 25 liters PMS,18 Jerri Cans of 25 liters AGO,21 Bales of secondhand clothing, 86 and 20 pairs of Men and Women used Cloths,21 Bags 50kg Foreign Sugar,5 Locally made Dane Gun, Jack Knife, Axe and Cutlass,7 Drums of PMS,six Illegal immigrants 60,000 Currency in CFA and 948 Cartons of foreign tomato paste.
Others were-311 Bags of Rice,7 Vehicles in Okuta,850 Cartons of Tomatoes Paste in Ogaja-Adikpo Benue State,162 Bags of Rice and 4 used Vehicles in Bokuro,95 Cartons of Tomatos, 7 drums of PMS and 2 Used Vehicles in Babanna adding that the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seized Good was N75.85million.
“We wanted to showcase some of the results of the Sector’s intensified effort at improving on the past successes on our anti-smuggling activities. From the beginning of the year to date,
“Under my leadership, our steadfastness in fighting crime in all ramifications and continued synergy among security agencies at the border to tackle the menace of insecurity and smuggling will be tackled head-on.
“Today, I make bold to say that since my assumption of duty as the coordinator of sector 3, we have recorded 242 seizures with total Duty Paid Value of N259. 26million, “he added.
The Sector boss, used medium to caution the teeming youths to reject being used by economic saboteurs to confront operatives of the Sector carrying out their lawful duties and those with criminal intentions to immediately desist from such acts as operatives of the Sector were well mobilized, backed up by the extant laws and shall remain resolute at enforcing the laws without fear of intimidation.
Peters assured continued partnership with other Security Agencies/Stakeholders to make the Sector and indeed the country at large a safe place to dwell in.