In Abuja, operatives from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) FCT Command detained Mr Chinana Tali for allegedly trafficking and attempting to sell his six-year-old kid for N20 million.
Mr Olusola Odumosu, the NSCDC FCT Commandant, informed journalists on Tuesday that the suspect was detained at the point of sale after being led to Abuja from Benue.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspect, while being interrogated at the NSCDC FCT Command, claimed that the victim, Ushafa Tali, was his six year old son.
Tali claimed that he was a father of six children and had decided to sell one of his children to help raise money to take care of his large family.
“It is because of hardship and no money, so I need to find a way to train my other children,” Tali said.
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The NSCDC commandant explained that the arrest of the father, who was with his son, followed an intelligence tip-off of his quest to get the highest bidder.
“We booked an appointment with the suspect at a garden, where we had one of our men pose as a buyer; while we had our men surround them.
“He came all the way from Benue to sell his supposed child to a buyer without caring about what might befall the child afterwards.
“To arrest his accomplice, we had to send transport fare to him after he was being deceived that the deal had been settled,” he said.
Odumosu said that the father, who was initially offered N12 million refused and insisted that the boy, who he referred to as a “he-goat”, be bought at the sum N20 million.
“He also offered to sell his girl child, who he referred to as a “she-goat’’ for N15 million, if he didn’t get a buyer for the boy.
“We are not sure of the paternity yet but more will be uncovered during further investigation as he claimed that the mother, his wife, had no idea of the transaction,” he explained.
The commandant said that the Corps was dedicated to ensure the protection of lives and property and would continue to take drastic measures in ensuring that crimes were nip in the bud.
He warned persons who might have such intentions such as that of Tali and his accomplices to desist as child trafficking was a serious offense.
Odumosu later handed over the father, son and one accomplice to representatives of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation and possible prosecution.
A NAPTIP Senior Intelligence Assistant, Mrs Chinyere Oseafiama, who received them, gave assurance that the case would be thoroughly investigated for appropriately actions.
“We are happy for what the NSCDC has done and we are assuring that NAPTIP will do the needful and get back to the public with a positive report regarding the case,” Oseafiama said.
In a related development, Odumosu said that a young man was recently arrested by the NSCDC after being caught vandalising armored cables along Idu Railway Line in the territory.
He said that in possession of the suspect was the hoe used in digging out the cables and a saw which he used on cutting the dugout cables.
“The suspect will be arraigned and prosecuted according to the law to serve as a deterrent to other vandals,” Odumosu said.