By Jawati Friday
The global fight against human trafficking has been recorded as a collaboration between the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), the Department of State Services (DSS), the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ), and the Italian authorities, has led to the successful extradition of one of Italy’s most-wanted criminals, Charity Omoruyi, alias ‘Jeff Joy’.
It can be recalled that in a judgement delivered by the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Ancoma in June 2012, Omoruyi was convicted in absentia for the crimes of human trafficking, exploitation for prostitution, slavery, and abetting of unlawful migration; she was sentenced to 13-years imprisonment. Omoruyi, a 54-year-old Nigerian from Ego LGA in Edo State, fled to Nigeria when a warrant for her arrest was issued and she was put on INTERPOL Red Notice.
Following the receipt of a
formal request for extradition of Omoruyi in May 2022, by the Italian authorities, in June 2022 with the assistance of the DSS, Omoruyi was tracked and arrested in Benin city, Edo State. She was handed over to NAPTIP’s Benin Zonal Command and transferred to NAPTIP’s Headquarters, Abuja.
A statement issued by the NAPTIP Press Officer, Vincent Adekoye explained that, Omoruyi remained under NAPTIP’s custody until her arraignment before Hon. Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court 2, Maitama, where a remand order was issued for her transfer to the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Suleja, pending the finalization of the extradition process by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The statement further pointed out that Omoruyi’s extradition to Italy on the 8th of March 2023 was facilitated by Article 12 of the Extradition Treaty between the Government of the Italian Republic and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, signed in Rome in November 2016.
According to the statement, the collaboration reinforces Nigeria’s zero tolerance for the crime of human trafficking.
“Human traffickers are ruthless and good at hiding and we must continue to root them out no matter how long it takes”.
The statement emphasised that as a result, Omoruyi will be serving her 13 years of jail term imposed on her by the court of Ancona in Italy.
Commenting on the development, the Director General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi, expressed satisfaction with the process that led to the arrest and eventual extradition of the trafficker, adding that the Agency shall continue to partner with all concerned in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria and other parts of the World.
- Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi applauded the Director General of the DSS, other partnering Law Enforcement Agencies and the Honourable attorney general of the federation for their worthy collaboration with NAPTIP in the operation.
She reiterated that the Agency shall continue to work assiduously towards the realization of its mandates of ensuring adequate protection of Nigerians from human trafficking and violence against persons.