…Calls For Global Partnership To Tackle Human Trafficking
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has
commenced the prosecution of a Spain based Nigerian, Patricia Ekhoe
Igbinovia (Aka Mama Bobby, Aka Audu Mariam Olayemi) who is notorious in
the trafficking of Nigerian young women from Nigeria to Spain. Two of her
gang members are currently in detention in Spain.
Patricia Igbinovia whom operatives of the Agency have been on her trail for a
long time was recently arrested in a sting operation in Lagos when she sneaked
into the country. The suspect has also been arraigned before Honourable
Justice C. J. Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos in the charge marked
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA v. PATRICIA EKHOE IGBINOVIA (AKA MAMA
BOBBY, AKA AUDU MARIAM OLAYEMI, FHC/L/345C/2021. She has also been
remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service while the matter
is adjourned to 17 th January 2022 for commencement of trial.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi disclosed this at a Virtual
meeting (THE CONVERSATION WITH NAPTIP) with Stakeholders and Partners
of the Agency to mark her first 100 days as Director-General of NAPTIP.
She stated that the prosecution is being supported by the British and Spanish
authorities through the Mutual Legal Assistance between Nigeria and the other
‘’ This is the first time NAPTIP would be prosecuting a case where evidence
from another country transmitted to Nigeria through Mutual Legal Assistance,
is used to arrest the target and case filed in court’’, she added.
This case is coming just as the Agency has also commenced the prosecution of
an official of a Law Enforcement Agency involved in the trafficking of young
persons to other countries.
According to the Director-General, the ongoing prosecutions are in line with
the Agency’s renewed strategy for enhanced prosecution of high–profile
traffickers and cases of violence against persons in Nigeria.
Counted some of her modest milestones since she assumed office, she said
“Since September, the Agency has received two hundred and twenty-four
(224) cases, investigated thirty-nine (39), and one hundred and eighty-nine
(189) suspects have been detained and interrogated.
“Two hundred and ninety-eight (298) victims have been rescued in partnership
with other sister agencies, International Organizations, and NGOs. A total
number of 19 repatriations have been successful with the invaluable support
of IOM, following intelligence reports received and we have about 15 joint
intelligence operations currently ongoing. NAPTIP has secured six (6)
convictions (Kano, Sokoto, Benin). Bringing the total number of convictions to
Speaking further, she said, ” On assumption of office, I was crystal clear and
deliberate about what I needed to do and where I want NAPTIP to be as an
anti-human trafficking law enforcement Agency. And my approach is based on
4 strategic priorities (Enhanced conviction rate of High Profile Traffickers;
evidence based and sustainable return and reintegration programs for victims
of TIP & SOM; scaled age-appropriate awareness creation on the ills of TIP,
especially at the sub-national level, in urban poor communities and rural areas
and amongst the youths; and enhanced visibility of the work of the agency, its
partners and reporting channels .These 4 strategic priorities plug into the 5-
point overarching strategies of the Agency, which is Prosecution, Protection,
Prevention, partnership and policy.
“With the support of IOM, FIIAPP, Italian embassy, UNODC and other partners,
we have successfully completed several capacity building for NAPTIP
prosecutors, intelligence officers and investigators”.
She however, pointed out that the only panacea to an effective fight against
human trafficking across the globe is a sufficient response from stakeholders
without borders, enough political will as well as unconditional collaboration
and cooperation among State and Non- State Actors.
On evidence–based and sustainable rehabilitation, reintegration and
empowerment of survivors, within the period under review, the NAPTIP boss
said the Agency has “enrolled 5 victims of violence against persons in school:
three (3) in primary school and two (2) in tertiary institutions and reunited
Forty-three (43) victims of trafficking with their families, including one
Cambodian national who 3 weeks ago returned to her country after 6 months
in our shelter. 10 victims in the NAPTIP Shelter have been empowered.
On enhanced awareness creation and sensitization, Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi told
participants at the forum that the Agency “reached about 10million people
during the 16days activism campaign against sexual and gender–based
violence which held between November and December 2021.
“With the support of the EU funded Rule of Law and Anti-corruption program,
we recently launched the maiden edition of the Violence Against Persons
Prohibition Report 2020; the first report since the enactment of the VAPP Act
in 2015. In collaboration with The CANS, we launched the establishment of the
first TIP/SGBV Vanguard in secondary school. Our goal is to establish this
vanguard in the 110 Federal Government Unity Colleges across the country
and we have started with FGGC Abaji, 3 weeks ago. The Vanguard is a platform
for young people to get involved in the fight against human trafficking and
violence against persons and to create awareness on the ills of TIP. This will
progressively be established in all educational institutions in the country’’, she
In his speech, the Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration
(IOM), Mr. Frantz Celestine who was represented by Ms. Prestage Murima,
commended the Director General for her achievements, the NAPTIP will want
to see and promised the sustained support of IOM to NAPTIP.
Other Speakers included: National President of the Network of Civil Society
Organization Against Child trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), Mr.
Abdulganiyu Abubakar; the President of Journalists International Forum for
Migration (JIFORM), Mr. Abayomi Ajibola and the Executive Director, Women
Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) Mrs Imaobong
23 rd December 2021