BAYELSA state command of
the Department of the State
Services, DSS, yesterday paraded
a woman and three Assemblies
of God Church pastors for child
trafficking.
The woman, Mrs Tombra
Alazigha (38 years old) school
proprietor, was among the
suspects paraded.
Also paraded were the 36
children whose ages range from
five to 12, rescued from homes
where they were being used as
houseboys and house girls.
Addressing journalist at the
state headquarters of the DSS, the
assistant state director of Security,
Mr. Friday Onuche stated that the
children were rescued from homes
in Yenagoa and Kiama in Bayelsa
State, Enugu-Agidi in Anambra
State, and Port-harcourt in Rivers
State after investigations.
He said the kingpins operated
under the guise of missionaries and
non-governmental organisations,
and target vulnerable children
largely from the northern part of
the country.
Among the places targeted by
these traffickers are Zuru ethnic
group in Kebbi and Zamfara States,
and Zaria in Kaduna State, where
they approached the poor parents
under the guise of assisting to
send to send the children school to
getg good education.
The three pastors gave their
names as Pastor Dauda Nurugada
(32 years old) from Kebbi
State, Pastor Anthony Anthony
Onwebeyi (53 years old) from
Anambra State, and Reverend
Benaalim Isa-Garba (43 years old)
from Kaduna State.
Speaking to newsmen, Pastor
Anthony Onwebeyi, who
confirmed that he had been
arrested for the same offence and
released after investigations by the
Anambra State Police Command,
said he was not a trafficker but a
missionary whose mission was to
help children get back to school.
He said he only collected
some small amount of money as
transport fares from those who
eventually get custody of the kids.
The woman, Mrs Tombra
Alazigha, who said she ran both a
private school and an NGO which
takes care of vulnerable children,
said she had six of the children
in her custody and they were all
brought to her by the pastors.
She, however, denied using them
as housemaids, saying that they
attend her school together with
her other six children from her
meager earning as a civil servant
and a school proprietor.
However, one of the children
who simply identified her name as
Jessica (12 years old) said she was
being used to do menial jobs like
going to farm and hawking, while
she denied going to school even
though she was already in JSS 2
back home.
She said though their parents
knew that they were taken away
but they do not know that they
were being used as houseboys and
house girls in the cit


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