NAPTIP warns against use of children for alms begging
The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli has warned against the use of children for alms begging on the streets of Nigeria. The NAPTIP boss gave this warning while reacting to the news of the conviction of three persons by a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, for various child trafficking offences.
The first defendant, 28 years’ old Ifeoma Obidike, was arraigned for employing a 10 years old boy as a domestic worker and subjecting him to abuse and exploitation, and renting two one-year olds from Hope Duru and Blessing Jacob, who were the second and third defendants respectively.
The convicted persons, who were members of a cartel which was cracked down by NAPTIP in Enugu after due surveillance, specialised in using children for street-begging, subjecting them to various forms of exploitation and inflicting bodily harm on them.
The case, which was referred to NAPTIP by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), was presided over by the Honourable Justice Rosemary Dugbo Oghoghorie. While delivering her judgment, the Honourable Judge sentenced the first defendant to three years imprisonment, while the second and third defendants were sentenced to two years imprisonment each.
Dame Julie Okah-Donli decried the heartless manner in which Nigerians use babies to solicit for alms on the streets, endangering the lives of these children and exposing them to various hazardous conditions. She called on members of the public to be aware of their environments, and report such cases to NAPTIP, assuring them of adequate prosecution. Perpetrators were further warned to desist from such act, as it is not only shameful and inhuman, it will also lead them to jail. In a related development, a 51 – year old Civil Engineer based in Abuja, Oluwadare Adesanmi, has been arrested by the operatives of NAPTIP for alleged sexual abuse of his 15-year old house help. The sexual abuse has resulted in a pregnancy.
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