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Edo Women

Edo monarch arrested for human trafficking


An Edo monarch, Chief Dogwo Ebiredelu, and the Nigeria Immigration Service, Lagos State Command, are bickering over an alleged attempt by the monarch to traffic two ladies to Turkey.

Ebiredelu was intercepted at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, on Friday with two ladies, Mrs. Queen Ebiredelu and Miss Egharevba Omozuwa, both 22 year-old, whom he claimed were his wife and maid respectively.

On one hand, the monarch, who is the Ebiredelu of Emuhi in Esan West Local Government, Edo State, said his wife and maid needed to travel with him so as to attend to his need in Turkey.

”They said they will deal with me because I refused to settle them. As a traditional ruler, I travel with my wife and maid to take care of my needs,” he said.

But on the other hand, the NIS said the monarch gave a similar reason when he was intercepted on a similar journey with two ladies on their way to Switzerland in January 2009.

Ebiredelu carried a genuine diplomatic and a valid Turkish visa, while the ladies had their visas on Nigerian e-passport.

Parading the suspects before newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, Comptroller of the Lagos State Command of the NIS, Mr. Lasun Olaitan, said in the course of routine investigation at the airport, NIS officials discovered that the Edo monarch could not give any genuine reasons why he was travelling with the two ladies.

Olaitan said, ”We did not allow him to continue with his journey because he could not give genuine reasons why he was travelling with the two ladies. The monarch was also using a diplomatic passport, which is strictly meant for top government officials. This passport is only owned and used by government officials who have official duties to perform for the federal or state government outside the country.

”But the chief said he is going for seven-day holiday in Turkey and you know, the issue of human trafficking has become rampant and we are trying to curb it.

”The situation also became worse when we discovered that the monarch was interrogated in January 2009 for also attempting to carry two ladies abroad and he gave the same reasons.”

Olaitan said that while investigations continued, Ebiredelu and the suspected victims of human trafficking would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Offences for further questioning.

Speaking angrily however, the monarch said he obtained his diplomatic passport from the Federal Government, adding that it was the sixth that he was using.

He blamed the Immigration for not carrying out proper investigation on the authenticity of his passport and visa before going to the press.

Ebiredelu also clarified that the ladies and not him were intercepted, adding that it became incumbent on him to intervene since they were travelling with him.

When asked if he had any document to show one of the ladies was his wife, he said there was no document, adding that he had three wives and eight children.

The alleged wife, Queen, who appeared weak, said they had been married since 2005, adding that there was no document to show that they were married because they had traditional wedding.

She also claimed to possess an Ordinary National Diploma certificate from Edo State Polytechnic, Usen.

The maid, who said she stopped schooling after obtaining Junior Secondary School Certificate in 2004, but spoke eloquent English Language, also corroborated her master‘s claim that she was a maid going to Turkey to tend to the monarch.

Source: The Punch

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