Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team have arrested a 50-year-old widow, Idowu Ademola, for allegedly bringing foreigners into Nigeria as domestic servants.
Ademola was arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State in a combined operation involving operatives of the IRT and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
It was gathered that NAPTIP solicited assistance from IRT to apprehend Ademola after repeatedly trailing and losing her.
Law enforcement agents started beaming their searchlight on Ademola after one of the girls she brought from Togo had an accident while using a pressure cooker.
The victim, Mary, 17, after she sustained severe injury with the pressure cooker, was rushed to hospital.
Operatives of NAPTIP were contacted when doctors at the hospital, where Mary was being treated, discovered she was trafficked into Nigeria to work as maid for a woman identified as Angela.
It was also discovered that Mary’s salaries was being given to Ademola, rather than Mary.
A security source said: “Angela was arrested by operatives of NAPTIP in Abuja.
“She admitted that she got the girl through a friend, Folake Adelore, who introduced her to Ademola.
“Angela told NAPTIP officials that she didn’t know where Ademola lives.
“This prompted a request to the IGP to deploy IRT, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to find Ademola, arrest her and ground down her operation.”
According to Ademola, she didn’t know bringing foreigners into Nigeria was a criminal offence.
Ademola thought she was assisting the foreigners with jobs.
She said: “I went into business in 2017.
“I used to travel to Okuta Town, Kwara State, a border with Benin Republic to buy rice and vegetable oil.
“I met some young ladies, who told me that they would like to come to Nigeria to work.
“They asked for my assistance.
“That was how I started.”
Ademola recalled that she once got employment for three boys in a poultry farmer in Sango Ota, Ogun State.
She said: “The boys were brought to me by their brother.
“They each earn N12,000 monthly, but I used to deduct N2,000 from their money every month.
“They were between ages 22 and 27.
“I had also given three girls to Mrs. Angela, who resides in Abuja.
“I met her through Mrs. Folake Adelore.
“The first girl was 23 years, the second 20, and the last one was 17.
“The first girl left after her dad died.
“The second girl was sacked because she refused to follow Angela to her village during Christmas.
“She now asked for replacement, leading to my bringing Mary.
“It was Mary that got me into trouble.
“I learned that Mary was involved in an accident when she tried to open a pressure pot.
“She was cooking beans and it poured on her.
“I also gave a maid to Mrs. Folake, who is a lawyer.
“The girl worked for Folake for a year and was earning N12,000 monthly.
“After the duration of her work, Folake paid her N144,000.
“I removed N24,000 out of it and gave her N120,000.
“I also gave two other boys to a poultry farmer in Ibadan before I was arrested.
“The boys were paid N12,000; I remove my commission, which is N2,000.
“I wasn’t aware what I was doing was human trafficking until the Abuja incident.”