Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested two persons in Umuahia for alleged child trafficking and labour/slavery as well as violence against their wards.
State commandant of the corps, Mr. Nnamdi Nwannukwu, disclosed this in Umuahia while briefing newsmen on its activities.
The suspects are Ozioma Eke (female) and Nkemakolam Akabuogu, both residents of No. 55 and No. 52 School Road, Umuahia, respectively.
Eke was accused of subjecting her ward, a 13-year-old girl to abuse and inhuman treatment.
According to the commandant, Eke was handed over the girl on the pretext that she would send her to school, but unfortunately turned her into a slave upon arrival in Umuahia in November.
“It was further discovered that the victim was made to suffer diverse abuse, including denial to formal education, forced labour, battery, starvation and being forced to sleep in her madam’s toilet.
“The little girl’s account was corroborated by the testimonies of some concerned neighbours upon whose information this arrest was made,” Nwannukwu said.
He further accused the second suspect, Akabuogu, of sending his 12-year-old nephew to hawk sachet water on the streets of Umuahia.
“He was forced to hawk sachet water between 7am and 9pm and make a daily return of between N600 and N1, 000, depending on the season,” the NSCDC boss said.
He said that the inability of the suspect to register his nephew for his common entrance examination made him to repeat a class, adding that “the boy was also forced to sleep under the staircase, among other inhuman treatment, in violation of the Child Rights Act.”
Nwannukwu promised the readiness of the command to partner relevant agencies and government at all levels to ensure full implementation of the Act and warned prospective violators to stop or be prepared to face the full weight of the law.
He said that the command has handed over the suspects to the National Agency for the Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for diligent prosecution.