The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has rescued a 12-year-old girl forced into marriage to a 50-year-old man in Benue State.
NAPTIP commander for Makurdi zonal command Mrs Gloria Bai who disclosed this to our correspondent in a telephone conversation said, the 12-year-old was married out as 3rd wife to a man old enough to be her grandfather.
According to her, “preliminary investigation reveals that she has been in the forced marriage for about three months and he has been abusing her.
LEADERSHIP gathered that when the girl was being taken to the supposed husband’s house, she thought she was being brought to the town to go to school but on reaching the man’s house, she discovered she had been brought to him as his 3rd wife.
The commander said the girl had been rescued and is currently in protective custody of NAPTIP, adding they are making frantic efforts to arrest the man.
“We got this report from a concerned citizen and contrary to the media report that NAPTIP was ‘slow and unenthusiastic’ we swiftly went into action to search for the address where the girl was and when we got the address, we planned to go first thing in the morning so that we get both the man and the victim and by 6am, we were there.
“Unfortunately, it rained today but we were able to rescue the girl but by then, the man had gone out. We are on it and our officers are already on surveillance to get the man as soon as he is seen,” Bai said.
She said the girl will also be taken to the hospital for medical examination and she will undergo proper counseling.
Bai maintained that the agency will carry out in-depth investigation to know what the allegation is and how the girl came to be in his house.