Parents of three girls from Ekiti State, who were allegedly given three slots to travel to Dubai but ended up at a slave camp in Libya, are demanding the safe return of their children.
They spoke yesterday at the headquarters of the State Police Command in Ado-Ekiti, the capital.
The police paraded a suspect, Dada Ogundare, for allegedly facilitating the trip to Libya.
Ogundare was paraded with a prophetess, Omoseeke Komolafe, who was said to have collected money from the parents and gave same to the trafficking suspect.
The suspects claimed that they only assisted the girls, one of who was said to be pregnant, to get jobs outside the country without knowing that they will end up as slaves.
The victims reportedly left Nigeria on November 25 by road, rather than by air – as they were promised that they were going to Dubai – but were taken to Libya and sold as slaves.
The parents said they attempted to bring their children back home but the traffickers in Libya demanded N1.2 million for their freedom.
One of the parents, Mrs. Margaret Olorunfemi, said she, the deputy governor and Prophetess Komolafe are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the same ward at Ikere-Ekiti.
Mrs. Olorunfemi said Prophetess Komolafe told her daughter that the deputy governor was given four slots to share among children of party members in his ward to travel to Dubai.
She said they were told to make N150,000 available for the trip.
The woman said she was worried when she did not hear from her daughter.
According to her, she was able to speak with her daughter on December 10 and she reportedly told her that she was in a slave camp in Libya.
Mrs Olorunfemi said: “My child called that the prophetess had sold her into slavery and that we should meet the deputy governor to get N1.2 million to free her from slavery.”
Another Ikere woman, Mrs. Feyisayo Adedayo, whose daughter was reportedly trapped at a Libyan slave camp, said her daughter was pregnant.
She said: “My daughter, Ayomiotan, spoke with me on phone that she and the others went through the desert and not by flight, as they were promised. I don’t have N1.2 million to send to them to free my daughter. (Ekiti State) Government should return my daughter to me in her pregnancy.
“She is my only girl and my last born. I reported the matter at the Ikere Police Station. I want my daughter back because I don’t want her to die in a slave camp.”
Another parent, Mrs. Bukola Bamise, said she was shocked to learn that her daughter had been sold as a slave.
She said: “It was the deputy governor who said he wanted to give the four slots given to his ward to our children. But I was shocked to learn that they were camped somewhere and they had been sold as slaves.”
Ogundare told reporters that she helped the prophetess to find girls interested in getting jobs in Libya.
The suspect said he did not collect money from the victims.
He said his wife and younger sister were in Libya, adding that she told the prophetess to inform the girls’ parents of their destination.
Ogundare said: “I didn’t collect one naira from anybody. I have so far taken four persons to Libya while madam (prophetess) had taken nine persons to Libya.”
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Mr Julius Okoro, warned parents against allowing their children to embark on questionable trips.
He said: “The girls were trafficked to Libya on the pretext that they were being them to Dubai. Information reached their parents that they were suffering and they had been sold out in the slave camp in Libya.
“One of the girls trafficked to Libya is pregnant and was rejected by those buying them because of her pregnancy. We understand that they are suffering seriously in Libya.
“Our advice to parents is that they should be careful of those they entrust their children to. Let them be careful and be sure of the persons they are handing over their children to.”