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FCTA seals Abuja orphanage for ‘trafficking 23 children’

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has sealed the Priesthood Orphanage in Karon Majigi Village, Abuja, for the alleged trafficking of 23 children between the ages of one and 14.

The children, who were rescued from the orphanage, are alleged to have been trafficked from Plateau state.

Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, the mandate secretary, women affairs secretariat, FCTA, handed over the children to Caroline Dafur, Plateau commissioner for women affairs, in Abuja on Monday.

Dafur said three of the children had escaped due to the poor condition of the orphanage.

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She said the escaped children were discovered by officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) who reported the case to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP).

She said the FRSC officials further took the children to the Human Rights Radio, Abuja, who then notified the Plateau government and the FCT women affairs secretariat.

“We came in yesterday and on reaching here, we were told that they went to church. We kept going from one church to another, looking for them until we found them in a Deeper Life Church,” NAN quoted her as saying.

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“From there we went to the orphanage and what we saw in that place, in fact, it is not supposed to be called an orphanage.

“The place is just so unkempt. Nine girls were sleeping in a very small room with just two mattresses.

“For the boys, they were in a small room too, with two mattresses just on the floor. It is so pathetic the way human beings treat their fellow human beings in this country.”

She thanked the mandate secretary for assisting to evacuate the children to the Karu Children’s Home.

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On her part, Benjamins-Laniyi said an investigation was ongoing to unravel the facts of the alleged trafficking.

She said Nyesom Wike, FCT minister, had authorised the secretariat to profile and recertify orphanages operating within the nation’s capital.

“Using this as an example, one of the first things I have done is to get approval for the recertification of orphanage homes in Abuja,” she said.

“The minister has approved that there will be a full thorough reprofiling and recertification of anything that has to do with orphanages in Abuja.”

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The mandate secretary said the secretariat was already working with Dafur to reunite the children with their families.

She added that some of the children had been in the uncertified orphanage since 2019.

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