By Imelda Osayande
The Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking has arrested two women, over their alleged involvement in child trafficking, abuse and modern slavery of teenagers in Edo.
The Head of the task force and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe who paraded the suspects in Benin on Thursday, gave their names as Mrs Martina Oziegbe and Mrs Idehen Esohe Grace.
The suspects, however, said they were ignorant of the act, claiming that they never knew that receiving a child for domestic work was an offence.
Omorogbe said it was a crime to take a child to one’s side under the guise of taking care of such a child, thereby depriving him or her of dignity and right to education.
She said that regardless of where a child came from or the status, no child in the state was for sale.
“Edo State is not a place where a child or a young person can be bought or sold.
“When you are bringing someone as a house help, you need to know that he or she must not be a child or teenager; he or she must be an adult.
“In Edo State, all children are to go to school. Child labour and child trafficking is not allowed; that is the law,” she said.
The attorney-general said that the offence was liable on conviction, to imprisonment of not less than five years and a fine of N5 million.
She, however, said that the suspects would be pardoned, since it was the task force’s first outing of making arrest.
The commissioner for justice warned that henceforth any suspect arrested would be prosecuted accordingly.