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FCTA seals orphanage over alleged trafficking of 23 children in Abuja

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration has sealed off the Priesthood Orphanage in Karonmajigi, after 23 children, aged 1 – 14 years, trafficked from Plateau State, were rescued from the orphanage.

The Mandate Secretary of the FCT Women Affairs Secretariat, Mrs Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, disclosed this when she addressed journalists on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Benjamins-Laniyi further said the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, had authorised the Secretariat to profile and recertify orphanages operating within the nation’s capital.

“There is no question, yesterday, with immediate effect, that ‘home’ was sealed, shut down. We have the name of the proprietor of the orphanage home, but we are not naming names now for obvious reasons. When the entire material investigation is concluded, there will be an official gazetted presentation of the facts, the findings and the delivery of this intervention we’ve started here today,” she said.

“NAPTIP, as we speak, is already on it. 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. The minister has approved that there will be a full thorough reprofiling of anything that has to do with orphanage and recertification status of all orphanages in Abuja,”

“We are working with the Plateau State Government to reunite the children that I had earlier mentioned by name and by age, with their families in the state. This is a transition arrangement.”

The Plateau State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Caroline Dafur, narrated that the proprietors of the orphanage abandoned the children at the home, under the care of one Pastor Abraham, in a terrible condition of hunger.

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Three of the children had then escaped and were discovered by officers of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, who reported the case to NAPTIP and took the children to the Human Rights Radio, who then notified the Plateau State Government and the FCT Women’s 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, where we were able to pick them up, and we went to the home. And we saw the place. In fact, it is not supposed to be called a home,” Dafur said.

“The place is just so unkempt. I wonder how the children were sleeping in the small room. Nine girls were sleeping in a very small room with just two mattresses. And then for the boys, they were in a small room too, with two mattresses just on the floor. And I mean, it’s so pathetic the way human beings treat human beings in this country.”

The commissioner expressed the displeasure of the Plateau State Government while appreciating the Mandate Secretary for the assistance in evacuating the children, and relocating them to the Karu Children’s Home.

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