The Nigeria Immigration Service in Ebonyi State, yesterday, intercepted an 18-seater white bus with registration number-Lagos LDD-468XH, customized with ‘Ondo State Sunshine Express’ conveying 18 persons including underage children suspected to be victims of human trafficking.
The State Acting Controller of NIS, Barrister Okey Ezugwu while answering questions from newsmen at the Command Headquarters in Abakaliki, stated that the surveillance team of the Command intercepted the vehicle in Abakaliki axis on their way to Edo state from Bekwara in Cross River state.
He said the victims when interrogated confessed that they were going to Ondo while some were sent to Benin to work in a Cocoa plantation. But the Controller said they had no business going on the trip without their parents adding that it was child labour and abuse of child rights for children below 18 years to be subjected to such inhumane treatment of working in cocoa farm.
Parents have the responsibility of taking care of their children, knowing the companies they keep, where they go, and whatever they are doing at every point in time, Ezugwu said.
He stressed that it was not a good option for responsible parents to give their children out to strangers for monetary and material gains.