The Kwara State Police Command said it had arrested three suspected human traffickers.
A statement by the spokesperson for the command, Osakanmi Ajayi, in Ilorin on Saturday, stated that the suspects – Musa Ayuba, Jeremiah Muda and Luka Ayuba – hail from Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to him, the suspects were arrested along the Okolowo Expressway on Saturday with 41 children while waiting to transport them to an unknown destination.
“On January 14, 2023, at 4pm, along the Okolowo Expressway, a detachment of policemen on special security assignment, intercepted the trio with 41 young boys and girls (22 boys and 19 girls).
”The victims are of different ages between five and 15 years old,” he said.
He explained that while undergoing interrogation, the suspects claimed to be coming from Niger State to Ilorin to meet a certain pastor to enrol the children in a yet-to-be-identified place.
“Their claims look spurious and we are presently investigating their claims and we will discreetly do that,” he added.
“The children are presently in the custody of our command, and we will soon establish contact with their parents and relevant authorities.”
“The Commissioner of Police in Kwara, Paul Odama, wishes to advise parents and guardians to avoid releasing their children to unknown persons,” he said.
”The children might be used as house helps and other despicable endeavours, which is against the child rights laws.
“The suspects will be charged to court after a thorough investigation,” he added.