REPORTS have indicated that parents in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, were involved in the sale of their children to human traffickers at the sum of N4,000 or N5,000 per ward.
This was revealed when the Quick Response Group Team of the Nigerian Army in Lokoja arrested one human trafficking suspect, Mr. Sunday Agbo, from Benue state.
Parading the suspect to newsmen on Friday at the Army Headquarters, the Commandant of Army Record, Major General Alphonso Chukwu said the suspect was arrested alongside 10 children, both male and female, on July 26 by his Quick Response Group Team, along Itobe-Ajaokuta road.
According to him, the suspect who hails from Obi Local Government Council of Benue State was arrested in a ash colour Toyota Camry car with the registration number CW 322 LSD with 10 children, comprising of six males and four females between the ages of seven and 19 heading to Lagos state.
He stated that when the suspect was confronted by his men, he said that the children belonged to him, but after further interrogation, he confessed that they were handed over to him by his agent, one Madam Janet Akpa, from the same village and that he was asked to deliver them to another agent in Lagos.
The Army Commandant stressed that investigations revealed that Agbo had been trafficking children by discussing with the parents and offering a mere sum of N4,000 or N5,000 naira under the pretext of getting them jobs in Lagos as househelps.
The Army Commandant who enjoined parents to be vigilant so as not to fall prey of the human traffickers, stressed that the children were most vulnerable to ritualists.
One of the children, Blessing Jacob, who said she had just finished her promotional examination to SSS 2 said she was told to follow the suspect to Lagos for her holiday where she would work for a while.
While still waiting for further details, the suspect received a text message from the agent in Lagos that one of the children he earlier brought to Lagos had absconded from the house.
While speaking with the suspect, he disclosed to Sunday Tribune that this was not his first time, adding that parents of the children were given a token amount of money ranging from N4000 to N5000 for each of the children.