NAPTIP arrests 80yr-old, 7 others for trafficking in Benue, rescue 5 victims

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Makurdi Zonal Command, has busted a child trafficking syndicate who specialized in the sale of children.

The Zonal Commander, NAPTIP Makurdi Zonal Command, Gloria Bai, disclosed this in a statement issued to newsmen in Makurdi on Saturday.

Bai said the command successfully dismantled a child trafficking syndicate, rescuing five victims and apprehending eight suspects including an 80-year-old woman.

The operation, she explained, followed a distress call from a mother who had been looking for her twins, only to discover they were allegedly sold in December 2023.

She said following the report, NAPTIP operatives conducted meticulous surveillance and rescue operations across Makurdi metropolis between January 17 and 22nd, 2024.

“The investigation unveiled a modus operandi wherein the syndicate targeted vulnerable homes, including IDP camps, posing as helpers for education sponsorship.

“Exploiting the trust of unsuspecting families, they acquired children and subsequently sold them for sums ranging from ₦900,000 to ₦350,000 per child, disguising the transactions as adoptions.”


She said those arrested suspects are an 80-year-old woman, Innocent Josephine, and a 56-year-old woman, Ude Rosaline, both identified as key players in the criminal network.

Other members include Mr. Samuel Takura, 50years, Mr. Williams Minde, 35years, Mrs. Celina Obiasogu, 52 years, Mrs. Virginia Okonkwo, 50 years, Mrs. Anthonia Onura, 60, and Mrs. Ede Sunday Ngozi 52.

The Zonal Commander said efforts are ongoing to apprehend one Mama Nnamdi, who is currently at large.

She said all rescued victims have been reunited with their families, and legal proceedings against the suspects are underway.

The Makurdi Zonal Commander urged the public to exercise caution when approached by individuals offering assistance with child education, emphasizing the prevalence of the buying and selling of children under the guise of adoption.

She encouraged members of the public to report suspicious cases to NAPTIP through the short code 627, hotline 07030000203, or via email @

“Those seeking to adopt a child are advised to contact the State Ministry of Women Affairs for proper guidance and should stop transacting with criminal elements,” she advised.


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