The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Monday arraigned a Lebanese, Mohammed Wafic Hamze, 62years, and two Nigerians-Adetunji Taofeek Sanusi, 34 years, and Tunde Awwal, 27 years-before Justice B. G Ashigar of the Federal High Court, Ilorin, for alleged trafficking of a female Nigerian to Lebanon, for exploitation.
According to the agency, the arraignment of the suspects was a fallout of the investigation into the much-publicized case of a Nigerian female that 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.
The suspects were slammed with a three- count charge, which bordered on human trafficking/ foreign travel, which promotes prostitution or other forms of exploitation in accordance with Section 18 and 27 (a) & (b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
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.
The Oshogbo Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Saadu Mustpha, said further investigation revealed that contrary to the initial report, about 16 victims were believed to have been trafficked to the Middle East Countries by the suspects out of which only three have been rescued through the collaboration of Civil Society organization, Nigeria Embassy and other partners.
The three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were subsequently remanded at the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ilorin and the case was adjourned to 26th February, 2020 for the commencement of the trial.