The Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has paraded two persons for allegedly being involved in child trafficking of a 13-year-old female identified as Uduak Akpan.
Miss Akpa who is a native of Ododo, Essien Udim in Akwa Ibom State, according to the State Commandant of NSCDC, Vincent Ogu was rescued in Aba, the commercial nerve of the state where she was recruited as a house help following a public outcry of Nigerians when the news of how her madam pushed her (Uduak) down from the last floor of a two storey building; No. 204, Niger Stone, along Port Harcourt Expressway, opposite new day fast-food, near Ariaria International Market, Aba went viral on the social media.
The NSCDC Commandant who stated that the suspects would also be charged for child labour, domestic violence and attempted murder gave the names of the suspects as Emeka Igwe (31-year-old) a native of Orlu LGA, in Imo State and Christiana Godwin (50-year-old), a native of Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
According to Ogu, “When I got the disturbing information on the ordeal of little Miss Uduak Willy Akpan from Mrs. Chinememma Umesaka (the Special Adviser to the Governor of Abia State on Teenage Matters), I quickly mobilized my men and ordered them to rescue the victim and arrest the perpetrators of this dastardly and inhuman act against this minor.
“I am happy for the swift response of my men to the order which has led to the successful rescue and arrest of the victim and suspects respectively.
“The NSCDC Aba South Divisional Officer- Superintendent Uche Uduma proved he is really on ground as he tactically coordinated the search and rescue team dispatched from the Command Headquarters leading to this huge success thereby bringing the suspects to face justice”.
Speaking further the State Commandant said, “Every child deserves love, care and protection and none should be exposed to treatments that can best be described as less human as being experienced by the rescued victim.
“The Corps through her Anti-human Trafficking, Irregular Migration and Gender Violence Unit is fully committed in her mandate of winning the war against all forms of child Trafficking/Child abuse, illegal adoption, child Labor and molestation.
“We implore all well meaning Nigerians to join hands in this all important fight for the protection of Nigerian children. On our part, we shall continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to win this fight”.
Narrating her ordeal in the hands of her abductors, little Udauk said she was brought to Aba as a house help in November, 2020 by a man popularly known as Mbakara and handed her over to her Mistress – Aniekan Emeka (Mrs.) who she said has been a nightmare to her life.
“On Friday, 8th January, 2021 Mrs. Anieka accused her of stealing her money in the sum of Five hundred naira only (N500) which Uduak she said she didn’t do.
According to the victim, her Mistress started beating her and the husband – Emeka Igwe upon return to the house equally descended on her with his belt.
“Out of fear and frustration and in a bit to escape further wrath of the man she jumped out through the balcony of the second floor of the two (2) storey building where they reside. At this point, the suspect Emeka sensing the girl may have died fled and relocated outside Abia State to evade justice.
Explaining how the suspect was arrested, Commandant Ogu said,“The Command expanded her intelligence network beyond Abia State and through her eagle eyed intelligence Operatives who acted on credible information on his hideouts, the suspect was successfully arrested to face justice. I want to ensure the general public that the suspect upon conclusion of investigations will be handed over to the appropriate agency for diligent prosecution”.
On the health of the rescued girl, Mr. Ogu said, “As a responsive and responsible agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are aware that justice is only meaningful to the living hence acting on the advice of the medical Unit of the Command, I quickly arranged for a full medical examination on the child at the Federal Medical Center, Umuahia where she has successfully undergone Chest Digital X-RAY, Abdomen UltraSound and C.T. Scan for her head”.
“Meanwhile, preliminary investigations revealed among others:The controversies surrounding the process that brought her from Akwa Ibom State to Aba in Abia State for child labour suggesting she may have been a victim of child trafficking.
“The victim has been undergoing serious child abuse and domestic violence while living with her Mistress.
“The victim was subjected to hard labour thereby depriving her of her right to formal education.
“The victim’s mother has been traced to Edo State.”
In his advice, the Abia State Commandant called on parents to take appropriate measures towards raising their children according to him where there are challenges leading to inability to train up their wards, parents have obligation towards ensuring that their wards are safe in the hands of those they have been given out to.
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He equally advised those who are privileged to have other parents’ children as a house helps to see them as their own children and extend the same love, care and protection to them.