NAPTIP, DSS apprehend 4 human traffickers in Benue
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons ( NAPTIP) and the Directorate of State Services ( DSS) have arrested four individuals, including a federal civil servant alleged involved in a conspiracy of buying and selling of babies in Benue state.
The federal civil servant Mrs. Wilson Erurom and another middle aged man, Mr. Marksoo Uzer, an employee of First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi Benue State; Mr. Albert Motemi and Gabriel Gav were all arrested in Makurdi, the Benue State capital through a combine effort of operatives of Agency and the Department of State Services (DSS).
In a statement issued by the Head, Press and Public Relations unit of NAPTIP, Ms. Stella Nezan, Wednesday, said the woman who is the intending buyer stated that she had linked up with the suspect after listening to an advertorial in one of the broadcast stations in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state in which the said suspect boasted of assisting people to get children either through in-planting, in-vitro fertilisation or outright adoption.
She further explained that because age was not on her side, she opted for outright adoption which she subsequently paid the sum of N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand naira) for the purpose.
According to her, after the safe delivery of the baby in question, she received a call from the man urging her to come to Makurdi for the baby.
“By the time I arrived, I lodged in a hotel and the following day when I saw the man, he told me that the ‘surrogate mother’ suddenly changed her mind. I did not know what happened and as I was trying to find my way back to Beyelsa State the following day, I was arrested by men of the DSS and handed over to NAPTIP”, she said.
The principal suspect in the case, Mr. Marksoo Uzer, who is suspected to have been involved in such illegal deal in the past, had once promised an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) a baby after collecting the sum of N950, 000 without giving the latter the baby.
After thorough investigations, the principal suspect in the case, an employee of a popular fertility hospital in Makurdi, confessed to regretting his action, citing financial constraint amidst the health challenge of his wife as the motivation for his crime.
Director General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, appreciated the sustained collaborative efforts that exist between NAPTIP and the DSS as demonstrated in the prompt referral of the case and advised Nigerians to ensure that due process is followed at all times in sensitive issues of child adoption.
The NAPTIP boss also promised that the case would be thoroughly investigated and charged to court.