ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- In line with Governor Peter Mbah’s mission of making Enugu State the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Kingsley Tochi Udeh, has reiterated his commitment to prosecute and facilitate the prosecution of human traffickers in the state.
As the Chief Law Officer of the State, he said this is part of efforts to rid Enugu State of human trafficking,
He promised to work with security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that owners of unapproved orphanage homes and brothels used as conduits for human trafficking are exposed and prosecuted.
Udeh stated this during an advocacy meeting he held with the Enugu Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Barr. Sam Offiah, and his team, at the Ministry of Justice headquarters, Enugu.
He urged the Agency to strengthen the State Task Force Against Human Trafficking, which he is the Chairman, to deal decisively with the menace in Enugu State.
In that regard, it was resolved that relevant stakeholders shall jointly draw up an action plan to optimize the performance of the Task Force and improve outcomes, including deterring potential human traffickers and supporting the victims of human trafficking.
The Chief Law Officer also maintained that the administration of Governor Mbah will not tolerate trading in human persons or human organs in any form; warning that anyone caught will be punished according to the law.
Udeh further revealed that he will issue a general fiat to NAPTIP, which it earlier requested, to enable it to prosecute human traffickers under the State Law.
Speaking earlier, the NAPTIP Zonal Commander informed the Attorney-General that the agency has a shelter, where victims taken from abusive homes and brothels are kept until they are integrated back into the society.
Offiah said that sheltering victims of human trafficking is part of the agency’s mandate.
He appealed to the Commissioner for Justice to assist the Agency in securing decent accommodation, as they are currently staying in a rented apartment that is inconducive and insufficient for its operations.
Offiah enumerated other challenges affecting the smooth operations of the Federal Agency in the State to include: lack of logistics (such as vehicles) and operational resources for the running of the Agency.
In a vote of thanks, the Director Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Barr. Ngozi Okoye, thanked the NAPTIP for the successes recorded in the State in stemming the menace of human trafficking and for taking steps to work with stakeholders, including participating in the advocacy meeting.
She, on behalf of the Ministry, promised the Agency of continued partnership and synergy.