Thirty Trafficked children and teenagers from Ebonyi State have been rescued from human traffickers in Ogun State.
The trafficked children are all indigenes of Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
They were rescued through the support of member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Chinedu Ogah, in conjunction with the Lagos branch of Ikwo Development Union.
A video had gone viral of some of the children showing marks and injuries they allegedly suffered at the hands of a man named Jeremiah Morris, a kinsman, who allegedly took them to Ogun State and forced them to hawk for him.
Imeba Igwe, Secretary Ikwo Development Union, Lagos Branch, who led the rescue mission, confirmed that the children were all from Ikwo LGA.
He said some of them had left Ikwọ because of the incessant communal clashes in their area.
The IDU Secretary also stated that the suspected trafficker had been arrested and was in police custody.
This is a difficult situation. The children we met are about 30 in number and between 12 and 13 years of age, and some others under Ogun State police custody are said to be between 18 and 20 years old. It was narrated that Mr Jeremiah Morris took them to Ogun State for safety reasons but dumped them on arrival, each living by survival of the fittest, including prostitution and others.
We gathered that Jeremiah could not take care of them, and after suffering starvation and hunger at his hands, they tried to engage in menial jobs for daily bread. In the process, those in charge of destitute caught them. Since they could not explain themselves fluently in English, they were tortured and bullied.
The culprit was rounded up along with the children based on a tip off from concerned citizens who suspected a foul play from the man after noticing that he kept bringing underage children in their numbers to this particular location.
The children said that he brought them here to hawk groundnuts for him. A good number of them were in JSS 1, 2 and 3 before they were brought here and they have been hawking groundnuts for him since they came. Some have been here for two years, some for six months while some of them came this January.
He further stated;
It was at this moment that some of them between the age of 18 and 20 were arrested, including Mr Jeremiah Morris, and taken to the police station at Songhai in Ogun State.