Eight suspects have been arrested by the Akwa Ibom State Command of NSCDC in connection with different offences ranging from abduction of minors, child labour and illegal mining.
The state's commandant, Eluwade Eluyemi said the command's tactical squad which acted on an intelligence it received, stormed a house in Ndom Ebom in Uruan LGA, where a 14-year-old Wisdom Aniekpeno Efiok was forced to work in for a year after being abducted.
Seven suspects linked to the abduction of the minor who was forced to carry out fishing activities in riverine areas up to the high sea in Cameroon were arrested.
A suspect identified as Mr. Peter Ime Okon was also arrested for carrying out mining activity without a mining license. The command said in a statement;
"The Akwa Ibom State Command of NSCDC has apprehended 8 suspects for different offences ranging from abduction of minors, child labour and illegal mining in different operations in the state.
Acting on credible intelligence, Comdt Eluwade Eluyemi deployed the Command tactical squad to a residence in Ndom Ebom in Uruan LGA to raid the apartment where a 14-year-old Master Wisdom Aniekpeno Efiok was abducted to live and work for one year''.
While briefing newsmen at the State Command headquarters in Uyo, Comdt Eluwade Stated that ‘'we received credible intelligence about a 14-year-old boy, *Wisdom Aniekpeno Ifiok* who had been declared missing since January 2023. On Monday, 4th of January, 2024, my personnel raided the apartment where he was seen in Ndon Ebom village in Uruan LGA and arrested 7 suspects. The minor was taken for one (1) year without the consent of his parents and was used to carry out fishing activities in riverine areas up to the high sea in Cameroon.
The key suspect who was the master of the minor, Mr. Otobong Aneitie Udoekong is currently undergoing investigation for criminal conspiracy, abduction of a minor for 1 year and subjecting the victim to child labour. Other suspects are being profiled to ascertain their level of involvement.
In another operation on the 5th of January, 2024, personnel of the Command arrested one suspect and impounded two (2) tipper trucks and a Peugeot car at a Borrow pit site in Ikot Anyang Offot Village, Ekpri Nsukara in Uyo, Local Government Area for engaging in illegal mining activity. The suspect, *Mr. Peter Ime Okon* was arrested for carrying out mining activity without a mining license.
Commandant Eluwade has warned that mining without a license is illegal. “Illegal Miners do not take the environment into consideration and their activities endanger lives and rob the Government of revenue”. He affirmed that the Corps will not rest on its oars in combating illegal mining in Akwa Ibom State.
He called on Akwa Ibomites and residents to shun all forms of crimes or the long arm of the law will catch up with them when caught.
The suspects involved in the abduction and child labour will be handed over to relevant agency on conclusion of profiling and investigation, while the illegal miner will be charged to Courts."