25 children trafficked from Kaduna State to Kogi state have been rescued by operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Kogi State Command.
Nigeriacrime.com gathered that the children were rescued following a distress call received by the command.
Confirming the rescue, the Commandant disclosed that, “On the 20th April 2023, the Command received a distress call from a good Samaritan that a 13-year-old boy identified as Mustapha Sani, was seen roaming the streets at odd hours, and on enquiry, it was discovered that he was brought into the state by one Mathew Joseph from Kaduna state.
“On receipt of the complaint, our men swung into action and Matthew Joseph, a suspected trafficker was arrested and on interrogation gave useful information that led to the arrest of 22 foster fathers, and the recovery of 25 children”.
The Commandant said, Governor Yahaya Bello has shown a high level of interest in the matter and has given necessary support to the command to ensure seamless repatriation of the children back to their state of origin for onward reunion with their parents.
He said through the ministry of women affairs and social development their counterparts in Kaduna was contacted and arrangement was concluded for the repatriation of the victims.
Speaking for the commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajarat Ameen, confirmed that the Ministry has contacted her counterpart in Kaduna state and preparation is in top gear to repatriate the children to the ministry for an onward reunion with their parents.
He warned parents to be wary of the movement of their children as most of the abuse is perpetrated by those known to them.
The suspected trafficker, Matthew Joseph, who claimed to hail from Kajuru LGA in southern Kaduna said, he went home one particular day and saw pitiable conditions of his people as a result of the activities of bandits on his people.
He stated that, in his attempt to help them bear the brunt of economic hardship, approach the parents who willingly offered the children to him.
He added, “I distributed the children to families in Lokoja to foster them, they are being adequately taken care of with some of them going to good schools.”
He said, although ignorance is not an excuse, he wants the authority to temper justice with mercy as his action was purely driven by compassion as against pecuniary consideration.