By OsaigbovoIguobaro Benin
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has called for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and destination countries that would lead to seizure and confiscation of assets of traffickers through judicial process.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, advised that forfeiture from international traffickers and their collaborators should be returned to Nigeria and converted to Victims of Trafficking Trust Fund based on mutual respect.
Okah-Donli disclosed this while delivering a lecture on Youth Migration, Deportation and Rehabilitation: The way forward” to mark the 60th birthday of a Benin-based business mogul, Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo, at Ugbowo main Campus of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), weekend.
She advocated investigation and prosecution of nationals of destination countries directly or indirectly involved human trafficking and other related crimes, adding that full disclosure in prosecution of offenders would eliminate one-sided prosecution.
According to her, “Strengthening existing partnership between Nigeria and destination countries based on mutual respect, sign MoU’s, seizure and confiscation of assets of traffickers though judicial processes as well as their forfeiture to the victims of trafficking trust fund”.
The DG also said the enactment and enforcement of laws and policies to curb the demand for illicit sex and other related issues that encourage trafficking of people, especially young women and the establishment of framework for safe return of victims of human trafficking who volunteer to return home should be pursued vigorously.
She stated that 339 persons were been tried in court or sentence by the agency, while over 13, 000 victims of human trafficking have passed through NAPTIP shelters.
Earlier in a remark, the Vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, described the lecture as apt in view of the changing times and contemporary challenges.
He described the business Mongol, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo, as a philanthropist per excellence who has used his wealth to help the downtrodden in society.
Responding, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo became an ambassador against human trafficking, urged Nigerian youths to see hardwork, good virtue and morals as the basis for success.
He also challenged parents, guardians and academia to deliver value to the Nigerian child.