The head of the Immigration services in Oyo State Mr Innocent Akatu released a communique that an evangelical pastor and 4 cohorts have been taken into custody for child trafficking-related charges. The pastor, Rev. Olufemi Timothy was paraded before public gallery in photographs taken along with other cohorts, as reported by Pulse.
Mr. Innocent in his communique as reported by Pulse said: “Human trafficking is a serious crime that we are trying to end. We have very young children being taken away from their parents under the pretext that the traffickers would get jobs for them or give them a better standard of living. Many of them are brought into Nigeria from Benin Republic, Togo and other neighbouring countries. They are sold into slavery by those who brought them into the country.”
Rev. Timothy when interviewed by the press regarding this incident also stated:
“I am a pastor and a farmer. There is a labourer in my farm who called me from Ibadan. He said he was stranded in the city. I ran down quickly to help him out at Iwo Road. He had 12 children with him from Benin Republic but I never knew he had such people in his company. I cannot deny knowing him but all I was trying to do was to help him, not knowing that he was trafficking children to Nigeria. I have foreigners in my farm but I don’t know how they entered into Nigeria. They were already here before I employed them.”
The victims-12 boys and four girls- were also paraded before newsmen.