THE ROLE OF VERIFICATION IN PREVENTING CRIME

The Chronicles of a Verification Service Provider

As I went through the list of verification requests that came through for the day, a particular one caught my attention; some contract awarded to the sender and instant financial requirement to set the ball rolling. The supposed awardee chose to initiate that request to ascertain the genuineness of the contract.  

Then I remembered sometime in 2019 when we barely started, Asabe walked into our office with documents about a job offer she had just received. A friend she shared it with directed her to us #iverify.ng to check it out with an independent verification company to verify how authentic it was. The JD was fit for the purpose, quite an attractive role and the remuneration was in foreign currency. But something wasn’t right. She needed to pay some money to help with processing her visa so resume immediately and she went about sourcing funds from people, her friend being a resort. 

We set to work. The indicators were very clear from the outset but ethically, we are bound to give facts and not speculation. Within a few hours into the verification, we developed the framework for her case with sufficient evidence to show that it was a bogus job.  

Daily, women and young girls are being exploited and trafficked based on information available to them alone in pursuit of better lives. In 2019, 203 cases were reported (about 25 traffickers were convicted) with 1,152 victims involved, 80% of them were female and half of the 80% minors. This is very alarming. 

Verification is the first step towards preventing trafficking and this information must be made available at the grass-root through various awareness campaigns. As part of our commitment to educating our vulnerable communities around us on information verification, vigilance, what to do when unsure, key indicators to look out for, how to verify or get help, we dedicate this month of March, creating awareness to women and the girl child to prevent trafficking. 

A few convictions in February 2021:

  1. A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State capital presided over by Honourable Justice T. B Adegoke, has convicted a middle-aged man Frank Israel for trafficking a 22 years old job seeker, (Name withheld) to Europe for labour exploitation thereby violating the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement Act 2015 as amended.

Excerpts/photocredit:Naptip.gov.ng

 

2. The development came on the heel of the conviction and sentence of another 42 years old man, Muyeedeen Jamilu, said to be an indigene of yansire Brigade, Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State, for 5 years and six months without the option of fine by a Federal High Court sitting in Katsina presided over by Justice Hadiza Rabi’u Shagari. The convict was charged to Court by operatives of the Kano Zonal Command of NAPTIP under Section 26(1) of Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015 as amended for obtaining financial benefits and procuring illegal entry of Eleven (11) girls from different States in Nigeria to Libya through Kongolama Border in Katsina State.

3. A Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos State presided over by Honourable Justice Babs Kwewumi has convicted and sentenced a middle-age woman, Godswill Joshua to 5years imprisonment and a fine of N500, 000 for trafficking. The convict popularly called Anita was dragged before the Court by the Lagos State Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on the 10th day of January 2018. She faced 6 count charges bordering on organizing foreign travel which promotes prostitution, conspiracy and harbouring for prostitution contrary to S. 18, S. 27 (b) & S.15 (b) of the TIPPEA, 2015

…for more read on the convictions please visit the Naptip official website.

Do you think verification is key in the fight against human trafficking?

Do you think verification is key in the fight against human trafficking?
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