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NAPTIP Arraigns Lebanese, Two Others Nigerians For Trafficking Nigerian Women

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons said it had arraigned a Lebanese, Mr. Mohammed  Hamze, and two Nigerians, Adetunji Sanusi and Tunde Awwal, on monday, before a Federal High Court in Ilorin, Kwara State, presided over by Justice B. G. Ashigar, for alleged trafficking of a female Nigerian to Lebanon for exploitation.

Vincent Adekoye, The agency’s spokesman, in a statement, said the arraignment was part of NAPTIP’s determination to end human trafficking in Nigeria through prompt prosecution.

He added that the arraignment of the suspects was a result of the investigation into the “much publicised case of a Nigerian female who was trafficked to Lebanon allegedly for exploitation, whose video went viral on social media platforms across the country about three weeks ago and was subsequently rescued and brought back to Nigeria.”

According to him, the suspects were slammed with three counts bordering on human trafficking/foreign travel promoting prostitution or other forms of exploitation in accordance with sections 18 and 27 (a) & (b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

He stated that the case was initially transferred to the agency by the Kwara State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), after which the three suspects were arrested.

Adekoye quoted Saadu Mustapha, the Osogbo Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, as saying further investigation revealed that about 16 victims were trafficked to Middle East countries by the suspects, out of which only three had been rescued through the collaboration of civil society organisations, the Nigerian Embassy and other partners.

He stated that the three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ilorin.

The case was adjourned till February 26, 2020 for commencement of trial.

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