The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons says it has intensified manhunt for a woman suspected of harbouring underage girls for sexual exploitation.
The Zonal Commander of the agency in charge of Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states, Mr. Hassan Tahir, told journalists in Sokoto on Monday.
He said that the suspected woman allegedly engaged in the unlawful act at Gidan Sauro in Sokoto metropolis.
Tahir said the agency had also arrested a businessman, Umar Babuga, for allegedly caging two underage girls for sexual exploitation.
He said that investigation was in progress and the suspect would soon be prosecuted.
Tahir said the two girls, 14 and 16 years, were locked in a house situated at Bodinga Local Government Area of the state.
The zonal commander said that the 16-year-old victim was already five months pregnant adding that the suspect solicited men to have sexual intercourse with the girls and cornered the proceeds.
He added that the suspect was apprehended following a tip-off from Sokoto Hisbah officials.
The commander noted that the unlawful employment of underage boys and girls for domestic work, Almajiri system and child hawking on streets was a major challenge in the zone.
“Such exploitative and illegal practices deter children’s progress,” Tahir said.
He said that part of NAPTIP’s mission was to prevent all forms of human degradation and exploitation through law enforcement agents thereby uplifting the vulnerable, especially women and children.
According to him, the agency is partnering with Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Police and other law enforcement agencies to address the situation.