Kogi NSCDC Arrests 2 Robbery Suspects, Trafficker, to Repatriate 25 Minors

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By Stephen Adeleye.

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kogi Command, has arrested two robbery suspects for criminal conspiracy, robbery, attempted homicide and receiving stolen property and cheating.

The Command also arrested a suspect for Child trafficking, unlawful and compulsory labour.

Speaking after parading the suspects on Thursday at NSCDC Command Headquarters, Lokoja, the state’s Commandant, Ahmad Gandi, said they were arrested for criminal conspiracy, robbery, attempted homicide, receiving stolen property, cheating and refusing to give information.

According to him, sometimes in March 2023, one Yakubu Abubakar, 19, and Hameed (ENU) still at large, criminally conspired with the use of dangerous weapon to rob one Musa Zakari of his motorcycle, two phones and large sum of money.

The commandant said the victim was robbed by the suspects at KM-18 Ajaokuta road in Kogi, where he was badly injured on his head with intention of killing him.

The two robbery suspects, L-R: Ishaka Suleiman and Yakubu Abubakar

Gandi noted that the victim, who was later revived at the hospital thereafter reported the case at NSCDC office, and the suspects were subsequently tracked to Igbemo in Ekiti State. 

The commandant further explained that one Ishaka Suleiman, 19, was later arrested at Ihima in Kogi, who made confessional statement of how the robbery was perpetrated by Yakubu Abubakar and Hameed (at large).

Gandi said the statement narrated how Ishaka Suleiman was informed about the crime after it was committed but he failed to report to any security agent.

He said Suleiman received the sim card of the victim and used it to defraud the victim under the pretence of being a ritual money maker.

He assured that the two suspects would be charged to court for prosecution after concluding the investigation including the suspect at large.

In the same vein, the Commandant also paraded one Matthew Joseph, who specialised in trafficking underage children from Kaduna to Kogi State.

Gandi said the command working on a credible information, arrested the trafficker who gave useful information that led to the recovery of 32 underage children ranging from 5 to 16 years of age that were trafficked to Kogi.

He added that the children were distributed to 22 foster Guardians under the pretence of the children doing house chores and the guardians in turn, trained them in school. 

Gandi said that the children and the 22 foster guardians had been investigated and profiled, adding that the children were released back to the foster guardians with the bond to produce them on demand.

The commandant assured that the trafficker would be handed over to the appropriate authority under Kogi State Government for prosecution, insisting that the act was illegal. 

He noted that investigation showed that the parents of those minors willingly released them to come to Kogi out of ignorance.

Gandi assured that Gov. Yahaya Bello was given his immense support to the NSCDC Commandant-General, Ahmad Audi, in terms of encouragement and freedom to carry out their mandate in the state, and do what was right.

The commandant urged the general public to give the security agencies relevant information on underage trafficking to aid their work, saying they could not do it alone.

Speaking, the Kogi Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajia Fatimah Buba, said the children would be repatriated to Kaduna State through the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Represented by Mrs Hajarat Amin, an Official at the ministry’s Child Department, the commissioner commended the NSCDC for doing a wonderful job in tackling child trafficking in the state.

She assured that the perpetraitor of such act would be prosecuted according to the state’s law on child trafficking.

The suspect, Matthew Joseph, told journalists that he was only assisting the children to get education since most of them were displaced my bandits attacked in Kaduna.

According to Joseph, the children are his relations who were brought from IDP camps in Kaduna with the aim of giving them a education and a future in Kogi.

“Our communities were burnt down by herdsmen, killed our parents and we ran away to IDP camps, and I decided to help the children by bringing them to Lokoja to give them education.

“I brought them free of charge, but I never knew  what I was doing was wrong; I am very sorvry”, Joseph said. 


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