Group urges investigation into alleged trafficking, prostitution of minors in Kogi

The Association for Orphans and Vulnerable Children NGOs in Nigeria (AONN) has appealed to the Police to investigate alleged camping of under-aged girls for trafficking and prostitution Lokoja.

Mr Nathaniel Abaniwo, Coordinator of the Kogi chapter of AONN, made the call in a press statement on Saturday in Lokoja.

Abaniwo, who was reacting to the outcome of an investigation by Wadata Media and Advocacy, Abuja, urged the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.

The coordinator said the association’s attention was drawn to a recent investigation conducted by Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre, which revealed how some girls were allegedly being trafficked for prostitution.

The girls were said to have been drawn from Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto and Bauchi states.

They were allegedly being trafficked to neighbouring countries like Chad and the Niger Republic, after camping them in Kasuwan-Ruwa, a suburb of Lokoja.

He said the investigation further revealed that during the day, traders converged on Kasuwan-Ruwa to sell yam tubers but at night the perpetrators brought out the girls for prostitution.

Abaniwo that the man allegedly behind the prostitution and trafficking of the girls, simply identified as “Small Lusher” (not real name), often takes the lion share of proceeds of the prostitution.

According to him, further findings also revealed that the girls were convinced to relocate to Lokoja with the promise that they will get jobs through Small Lusher but later end up as ‘sex slaves’.

He said that the illegal trade had exposed the girls to insecurity, psychological trauma, diseases, unwanted pregnancies, the birth of illegitimate babies and abortion among others.

He commended the wisdom and painstaking effort of the centre for making its findings public and urged law enforcement agencies to wade into the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.

Part 3, Section 30(2) of the Kogi State Child Rights Law, 2009, states that a child shall not be used for the purpose of begging for alms, guiding beggars, prostitution, domestic or sexual labour or for any unlawful or immoral purpose.

“To this end, AONN condemns, in its entirety, this alleged heinous crime against humanity as it involves vulnerable girl children,’’ he stated. (NAN)

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