… As NAPTIP rescues 1,444 victims, secures 52 convictions in Uyo zone***
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it raided and sealed Diplomatic Suite Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja, in a joint operation with men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Also read: NDLEA intercepts cocaine in 3 states, arrests 7 traffickers
Babafemi said the raid was an attempt to stop a cannabis party and the launch of a suspected new psychoactive drink.
He said about 200 attendees, including three young ladies who organised the hemp party, were currently being profiled and interviewed, while bottles of the new drink had been taken for lab analysis.
He said the hotel was raided at 8.18 p.m. on April 20, following actionable intelligence that some youths were planning to hold a hemp party at the hotel.
“Quantities of cannabis Sativa were recovered from the pockets and bags of those arrested at the hemp party.
“The audacious party, no doubt, is part of attempts by some elements to create a drug subculture in the Nigerian social space.
“The NDLEA will, however, continue to work with other security agencies and relevant stakeholders, to ensure abuse of illicit substances is not allowed to get entrenched in the country under any guise,” Babafemi said.
In the meantime, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Uyo Zone, said on Thursday that it rescued 1,444 victims of human trafficking in 2021.
The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Tina Ugwu, disclosed this while interacting with newsmen in Uyo.
Ugwu, who assumed duty on March 1, said that 733 victims were rescued from Akwa Ibom, 413 from Cross River, 282 from Bayelsa and 16 from Rivers.
She said that within the period, the agency secured 52 convictions while 11 cases were still being prosecuted in the zone.
The zonal commander said that the agency received 1,035 cases from suspects, and investigated over 568.
She noted that the new trend of human trafficking was the selling of children, and warned parents and guardians to be more vigilant and know where their children and wards were at any point in time.
Ugwu decried the high rate of sale of babies in Akwa Ibom and described the media as strategic partners in the fight against human trafficking.
The zonal commander called for greater synergy among sister security agencies in the area of information sharing and intelligence gathering.
She said the Federal Government could not fight the menace of human trafficking alone, but with the collaboration of all stakeholders.
“If all hands are not on deck to fight this menace, children will all be sold out.
The crime is very alarming and worrisome.
“We appeal to members of the public that this fight on human trafficking should not be left on the hands of NAPTIP and the Federal Government alone.
“The agency needs the support and cooperation of all stakeholders so that together we can fight this crime,” Ugwu said.
According to her, collaboration with sister agencies who have their presence at the borders has produced outstanding results as most of the cases handled by the agency are transferred from them.
Ugwu said that in 2022, NAPTIP had increased its sensitisation campaigns and required collective efforts from stakeholders to eliminate the menace of human trafficking in the country.
She said NAPTIP had over the years, developed close working relationships with community vigilantees, traditional rulers and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in the state, in sensitising residents on the dangers of human trafficking.