The Uyo Zone of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, said it has convicted 52 traffickers in the zone from 2021 to date while 11 cases are still in court .
It added that it has rescued 1,444 victims of trafficking within the period.
The Zonal commander of the agency, Mrs. Tina Ugwu, told journalists in Uyo on Thursday that out of the 1,444 rescued victims, 723 were from Akwa Ibom, 413 from Cross River, 282 from Bayelsa while 16 from Rivers State.
She said, “For the number of cases received, the command received 1,035 cases with 1,035 suspects. It investigated over 568 cases. The command convicted about 52 traffickers in the zone with 11 cases still in court at different levels of prosecution.”
The Zonal Commander also decried the high incidences of sale of babies in Akwa Ibom and said that efforts have intensified to apprehend those who perpetuate the crime.
She further decried the activities of many Traditional Birth Attendants and warned that the agency would not spare any of them found culpable even as she regretted that most couples connive with them in their illegal activities.
“And to make matters worse, some families agree to this procedure and the so called pregnant mothers know they are not pregnant but because of desperation to own a child accept any condition they are given by those homes.
“And those homes have always found a way to evade arrest but we have a Task Force in place to monitor the TBAs with evidences of agreement between them and couples,” she said.
Ugwu attributed the increase in sale of babies to rise in broken homes and single parenthood and advised parents unable to cater for their children to ask for help or register their children for formal adoption.