The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) in Benue State is on the trail of a 50-year-old farmer who recently married a 12-year-old girl as his third wife.
The Makurdi Zonal Commander of the agency, Mrs Gloria Bai who stated this on Wednesday said that the 12-year-old girl is in the custody of NAPTIP.
Tribune Online reliably gathered that the 12-year-old girl was deceitfully married off to the 50-year-old farmer by her family.
The little girl who was not aware of the plan of the family to marry her off had thought she was being taken to a town for schooling but on reaching the man’s house, she discovered she had been brought to him as his third wife.
The Makurdi Zonal Commander said that preliminary investigation revealed that she had been in the forced marriage for about three months and the man had been abusing her.
Mrs Bai however said that the girl had been rescued and is presently in the custody of the agency.
She added that the agency was making frantic efforts to get the supposed husband who was said to be on the run.
“Yes, we have rescued her. We got this report from a concerned citizen and contrary to the media to report that NAPTIP was ‘slow and unenthusiastic’ we swiftly went into action to search for the address where the girl was and when we got the address, we planned to go first thing in the morning so that we get both the man and the victim and by 6 am, we were there.
“Unfortunately, the rain came in, we were able to rescue the girl but the man had gone out. We are on it and our officers are ready on surveillance to get the man,” Mrs Bai said.
She however promised that the agency would carry out an in-depth investigation to know what the allegation was and how the girl came to be in his house.
“The girl will also be taken to the hospital for medical examination and she will undergo proper counselling.
“We will see how she came to be in the house and if he (the man) has contravened the law, we would charge him to court,” Mrs Bai said.
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