As part of the on-going repositioning of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for better service delivery, the Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli has set up a Rapid Response Squad (NAPTIP-RRS).
The Squad which is under the direct supervision of the Director-General is to among other things ensure that all high profile and sensitive cases reported to the Agency are given prompt attention and investigated with diligence.
This action is in line with her earlier promise on assumption of office to set in motion machineries for diligent operations especially in the areas of Investigation, Victims care and prosecution.
In her maiden Press Conference, the Director-General had said,’’ the Agency, during my tenure, shall move with all vigour, techniques, skills and expertise to nab any human trafficker, from the point of conceiving the idea to the point of exploitation.
Efforts shall be made to equip operatives of the Agency to detect and proactively burst any human trafficking action from the bud. This simply means that if the traffickers decide to sail across the Ocean, NAPTIP operatives shall be ahead of them. If they fly in the air, we shall await their landing, and on the death prone routes through the hottest deserts, we shall be right at the next point waiting for them.
The era of trading on our promising youths as commodities is over and all machinery shall be put in place to ensure that our youths have a secure future. We shall increase our surveillance and intelligence around the known endemic communities and villages’’.
Part of the terms of reference of the NAPTIP-RRS is to carry out in an urgent manner all sensitive assignments and operations as may be directed by the Director-General.
Inaugurating the Rapid Response Squad, Julie Okah-Donli reminded members that the task before them was not an easy one, but promised to give them all necessary support including the provision of modern investigation tools to aid their operations.
She admonished them to remain upright, factual and work in line with international good practices in law enforcement. She warned that she will not tolerate any indolence or sloppiness in their operations and urged them to be swift in their activities as any undue delay in any rescue operation may spell doom for any victim and the family.
‘’You must work with all the departments of the Agency in your assignment. Do not see any case as a small one because there is nothing like a small case before the law and in the case of human trafficking, lives are involved.
While the public enlightenment officers are working round the clock creating awareness across the country, you must ensure that those who refuse to adhere to our appeal to end trafficking are brought to justice. The Legal and Prosecution Department is set to use the outcome of your operations to prosecute offenders’’ She stressed.
Moses Oyediran, Enugu
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