The Kogi State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), has finalised arrangements to repatriate 25 children trafficked from Kaduna state to Kogi state
The state Commandant of the corps, CD Ahmad Ahmad Gandi made the disclosure while parading the suspects in Lokoja, Kogi state.
The Commandant disclosed that on the 20th April 2023, the Command received a distress call from a good Samaritan that one Mustapha Sani, 13, 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.
He added that on receipt of the complaint, his 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 while addressing the press, 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 da 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 that , he distributed the children to families in Lokoja to foster them , stressing that they are being adequately taken care of with some of them going to good schools.
He said, although , ignorance is not an excuse , he want the authority to temper justice with mercy as his action was purely driven by compassion as against percuniary consideration.
In another develolment, a 41-year old father has been arrested by Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kogi Command for allegedly defiling and raping his 16-year old daughter.
Speaking after parading the suspect the state’s Commandant, Ahmad Gandi, said the command received a complaint lodged by an NGO on May 5.
According to him, the complaint was lodged on a case of defilement, rape and incest in which the suspect is a biological father of the victim.
The commandant said that the abusive act was on for three years from 2020 to 2023, since when the victim was 16 years old.
Gandi said that the younger sister to the victim advised her that they should either commit suicide or kill their father to free themselves from the abusive act.
The commandant said that the father had admitted committing the act, saying he would be charged to court after concluding the investigation.
Gandi commended the NGO for reporting the case to the command, while urging other victims in the society who were dying in silence to come out and report such cases.
However, newsmen were not allowed by the NSCDC to disclose the identity and names of both the victim and the suspect due to the sensitivity of the case to avoid victim’s stigmatisation.
The victim told newsmen that she had been sexually abused by her father since 2020 after her mother left home.
“It happened in 2020 when my mum left home and since then my Dad had been sexually abusing me.
In 2021, my father impregnated me and took me to a clinic where they aborted the pregnancy I had for him.
“I couldn’t leave the house because of my younger sister as I was afraid my father could do the same thing to my sister,” the victim said.
“After aborting the pregnancy he continued the sexual abuse until I couldn’t take it anymore, which I have to report to an NGO who reported the case to NSCDC,” the victim narrated.
On his part, the suspect admitted to have committed the act, that he actually dis-flowered his daughter, saying he was hypnotized after his wife left her in 2020.
“I actually committed the act but I don’t know how I did it. I love my wife very well; I begged her to come back home but she never did for the past three years.
“It is the same stage I was when my mother left my father that my wife left my children for me and went away. I love my wife but she never come back to me”, the suspect said.
In his comment, Mr Abdulrasak Ibrahim, the Executive Director of the NGO, the Islamic Centre for Communication and Creative Thought (ItrippleCT), commended the NSCDC for doing a fantastic job by swinging into action to arrest the suspect.
Ibrahim noted that after hearing about the issue, the victim was immediately relocated to a safe place from her father’s house to protect her from further abuse.
Speaking on the matter, the Chairperson, Federation of Women Lawyer (FIDA), Kogi, Barr LilianOkolo; and Amb. Idris Muraina, the Chairman, Kogi Network of NGO (KONGONET), also commended the NSCDC for their proactive-ness in handling the case.
Okolo assured that FIDA would make sure that the suspect was brought to justice to serve as deterrent to other irresponsible fathers out there.
Muraina assured that the NGOs in Kogi would continue to put professionalism into play in such cases to ensure that the right of the girl-child was protected and get justice for her.
He urged other victims of such act going through such traumatic experience in the state to speak out, assuring that it would be pursued to a logical conclusion to get justice for them.
The KONGONET Chairman also appealed to the State and Federal Governments, and International community to provide a “Safe Keep” accommodation in the state where victims of such act could be accommodated during the duration of the case.
“As at today we don’t have such “safe keep” accommodation in Kogi where gender based violence victims could be kept during the trying period,” Muraina said.