Ighorhiohwumu Aghogho, a child rights activist and proprietor of the duly registered Explosive Academy in Abraka, Delta State, a special school for the correction of children who are beyond parental control, has raised the alarm that the Delta State children’s adoption register is missing.
Mr. Aghogho, who issued a 15-day ultimatum to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking-in-Persons (NAPTIP) to produce the missing adoption register without delay, also accused the Delta State government of child trafficking and racketeering.
Addressing a press conference in Warri on Wednesday, Mr. Aghogho lamented that officials of the State government have grossly abused the process for adopting orphans from registered orphanage homes in the State, disclosing that about 27 orphanage homes are unlawfully operating in the State, which has helped child traffickers abuse orphans without record.
Mr. Aghogho specifically accused the State Commissioner of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Omatsola Williams, the Director of Child Development, Mr. Adebayo, and all child development and social welfare officers of the ministry and most orphanages in the State of perpetrating this heinous crime, saying that all efforts to pressure the State government officials to stop have remained unsuccessful.
"We have toured all agencies concerned with child abuse and trafficking in the State, including the State House of Assembly, without any positive results. We are giving the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking-in Persons (NAPTIP) in Abuja a 15-day ultimatum after which we will apply to court for an order of mandamus to compel the NAPTIP to search for and produce the Adoption Children Register of Delta State and to stop the Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development in Asaba from further trafficking Delta State children. The ministry has been investigated repeatedly by us and was found to be trafficking children, whose identities are not known, on a daily basis.
“The Commissioner of the ministry, Mrs. Omatsola Williams, the Director of Child Development, Mr. Adebayo, and all child development officers and social welfare officers of the ministry and most homes/orphanages in the State are perpetrators of this heinous crime. The ministry is responsible for the unlawful accommodation of children branded as orphans or abandoned children with crooked police extracts in the various homes/orphanages across the State without an order of court in violation of section 43 of the Delta State Child’s Right Law,” the child rights activist stated.
When contacted, Mrs. Omotsola Williams said she was indisposed to speak and directed SaharaReporters to reach out to her information counterpart, Patrick Ukah, or her ministry's Public Relation Officer (PRO).
Our correspondent then contacted Mr. Ukah, but he was not adequately informed about the matter and therefore could not comment.
Also contacted on the issue, the Zonal Commandant of NANTIP in Benin City, Odita Chukwudi, stated that his agency was playing their part towards investigating the allegation of child trafficking against the Delta State government among other issues raised by Mr. Aghogho.
“The petition was sent to Abuja and was referred to our office. We are doing our best. As I speak with you, our report is ready for submission to my boss," Mr. Chukwudi said.