Britain establishes task force in Benin to tackle human trafficking in Nigeria

Britain establishes task force in Benin to tackle human trafficking in Nigeria

- The British government restates promise to support Nigeria's fight against human trafficking

- Deputy high commissioner in Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, inaugurates a Joint Border Task Force (JBTF) satellite office in Benin for the purpose

- Vanessa Fleming commends Britain for its support in ensuring the battle against human trafficking is successful

The British government, on Friday, July 6, reportedly reaffirmed its commitment to support Nigeria’s effort towards effective and result-oriented war against human trafficking in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the British deputy high commissioner in Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, made the commitment while inaugurating a Joint Border Task Force (JBTF) satellite office in Benin, Edo state.

According to the report, the office was provided by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of UK to support the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in the offensive against human trafficking.

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Thompson said that UK government was collaborating with the federal government to fight human trafficking and modern slavery as both issues affected both countries.

She disclosed that great successes had been achieved in the effort through years of collaboration, especially with the recent conviction of a suspected Nigerian female human trafficker in the UK.

She said it was a good testament to the effort of the JBTF and the convict will be put behind bars for a good period of time.

She added that more of such convictions were expected, adding that Britain would look at the request by the director-general of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, to open similar office in Kano state.

In her remarks, JBTF representative, Vanessa Fleming, said that much progress had been achieved by the body over the last two years in the war against human trafficking.

She commended the UK government and Nigeria for the synergy between them and expressed hope that the satellite office would be exceptional in service delivery.

The report also quoted Okah-Donli as saying that the JBTF was officially inaugurated on September 16, 2015, with 12 staff members and another eight selected in 2017.

She disclosed that presently the agency had 10 cases before federal and state high courts in Oyo, Lagos and Edo, at different stages of trial of the suspected offenders.

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Okah-Donli said that the agency had secured a conviction in one of the cases in Benin, adding that more convictions would be recorded soonest.

She thanked the British envoy for equipping the courts in Benin and Lagos with video-link gadgets that would help to fast-track prosecution, and appealed that the gesture be extended to other courts in Nigeria. earlier reported how the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) said it had received 68 victims of human trafficking deported from three countries in March.

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