Immigration intercepts seven Burkina Faso-bound girls

20th November 2023

Comptroller,Lagos Seaport and Marine Command, Nigeria immigration Service, Saddiq Muhammed

Comptroller,Lagos Seaport and Marine Command, Nigeria immigration Service, Saddiq Muhammed

By Stephen Angbulu

The Nigerian Immigration Service operating at the Marine Command in Lagos Seaports on Monday said it foiled an attempt to traffic seven Nigerian girls to Burkina Faso.

The Lagos State Comptroller, Mohammed Sadiq, who described the incident as a rise in illegal migration and human trafficking, said they made the arrest based on intelligence on the Nigeria-Benin Republic waterways where the girls were being smuggled through.

According to a TVC report shared on the NIS handle Monday evening, Sadiq stated that their investigation found that the girls, aged 19 to 23, came from Langtang North local government area of Plateau State.

He said, “The girls willfully consented to the journey under false identity with the intent of indulging in prostitution while in their country of destination.

“However, the suspects neither have any valid travel documents nor financial means to save themselves during the journey.

“Narrating her role in the illicit business, Miss Denta admitted her involvement in prostitution and facilitating the transportation of potential sex workers into Burkina Faso with the support of her madam, an indigene of Edo state who operates a beer parlour in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso capital.”

One of the girls who spoke anonymously recounted being promised jobs in Lagos by the suspect, who was orchestrating the trip.

“I didn’t know we were going to Burkina Faso. They told us we were coming to work in Lagos,” she said.

She further explained that they were given a choice upon arrival: to either work in prostitution or at the beer parlour owned by her aunt.

Following this, the officials signed documents, transferring the girls to the custody of the Plateau State Liaison Officer in Lagos, where they will undergo further investigation and rehabilitation.

In May 2023, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons said it had rescued no fewer than 19,000 trafficked persons since its inception in 2003.

The agency’s Director of Intelligence and Public Enlightenment, Josiah Emerole, said over 32 persons have been convicted of various crimes related to human trafficking since January 2023.

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