The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Wednesday rescued a 12-year-old girl reportedly married off to a 50-year-old farmer by her family in Benue State.
Disclosing this to newsmen, the Makurdi Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs Gloria Bai, said preliminary investigations revealed that she was in the forced marriage for about three months, as the farmer abused her.
She added that the girl was rescued and put into protective custody, adding that the agency was making efforts to arrest the farmer, who was at large.
Bai said, “We got this report from a concerned citizen and contrary to media reports 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 could get both the man and the victim and by 6am, we were there.
“Unfortunately, the rain came and we were able to rescue the girl, but the man had gone out. We are on it and our officers are already on surveillance to get the man.
“The girl will also be taken to a hospital for medical examination and she will undergo proper counselling.”
It was gathered that the girl thought she was being taken to town to further her education, but on reaching the man’s house, she discovered she was to be his third wife.