A petroleum marketer, Ayinmola Alabi, and his wife, Toyin, were on Monday paraded by the police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos, for allegedly trafficking two girls to Italy and trying to pass them off as their daughters.
The girls, whose real names were given as Aisosa Uwailomwon, 19, and Endurance Osaigede, 21, had changed their names to Rachel Alabi and Rita Alabi respectively on their passports.
Three other persons, Emmanuel Damule, Ayodeji Olatunde, and Samuel Aworowo, were also arrested in connection with the incident.
The SFU Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Isintunme-Agu, said a petition from the Consulate General of Italy in Lagos alleged that the couple had shown up at the embassy to apply for a visit visa with the two girls, who had the page five of their passports tampered with.
She said, “Their passports were said to contain suspicious entry/exit stamps of Ghana Immigration Service while the GTBank and First Bank statement of accounts were allegedly forged.
“Prior to their application for the Italian visa, the couple had attempted to traffick the girls to France. However, when the girls got to the airport, their visa was cancelled and they were not allowed to fly to France.
“They went back to Damule, who had forged all their documents for the aborted France trip. Damule removed the stamp that was used to cancel the visa and put another on top. This was the same passports that the girls used at the Italian embassy that aroused the suspicion of the embassy officials.”
PUNCH Metro gathered that the whole idea of trafficking the girls was Damule’s. The girls were to be sent to a certain Mrs. Anthonia Aworowo and her husband, Jonathan, who live in France.
Both girls had been introduced to Damule by Anthonia who had told them that she needed assistance in her day care business. Damule had in turn, allegedly introduced the girls to the Alabis who were to pose as their parents on their trip to France.
Samuel, a brother to Jonathan, had allegedly accommodated the girls in his home anytime they travelled to Lagos from Edo State for their visa application. He was said to be part of the conspiracy to traffick the girls.
Olatunde, a 38-year-old native of Osun state, told PUNCH Metro that he was apprehended by the police at the embassy.
The couple, however, denied the allegation that they were human traffickers.
Toyin said, “We didn’t traffick the girls, that is not the reason why we were arrested and brought here.”
She however declined making further comments on the issue when she was questioned.
Isintume-Agu said, “The suspects involved in the case have made confessional statements. They will be charged to court.”
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