Dr. Waziri-Azi flagged a 2-day Criminal Justice Seminar as her first public function

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) hosted a 2-day Seminar on Criminal Justice for selected law enforcement, civil society network and prosecuting officers in Nigeria under the theme “Compounding Crises and Criminal Justice in Nigeria: Collaborative Approaches in Dealing with New and Emerging Trends of TIPSOM”. The Event was funded by the European Union under the 11th EDF Project titled “Action against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrant (A-TIPSOM) which is being implemented by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).

This seminar which takes a Hybrid form featured 186 resource participants (50 in person and 136 online) from NAPTIP, Nigerian Police Force, Nigeria immigration Service, Nigeria Correction Service, Ministry of Justice, National Judicial Institute, National Human Rights Commission, DIA, NSCDC, NDLEA, EFCC, civil society network-NACTAL, Social workers and relevant A-TIPSOM stakeholders. It was a high-level information sharing gathering on global best practices, recent data on emerging trends and sustainable approaches in the fight against TIPSOM in Nigeria.

The Opening ceremony was epoch making as the. New Director General NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi graced the occasion as her first event after assumption of office and other high-profile dignitaries including: The Team Leader of FIIAPP, Mr. Raphael Rios Molin, the Eu Delegation to Nigeria, Ms. Eleni Zerzelidou, The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Catriona Laing, The Assistant Interior Attache, Spanish Embassy Abuja, Jorge Macias Martinez, the Commissioner of Police, (AHT/VISA FRAUD) FCID Nna Josephine, Director RPD, NAPTIP Mr. Olubiyi Olusoya, NDDI/Head (Reforms, NAPTIP), Mrs. Ulasi Ebele V, former Head, ICCU, Mr. Terna Tsumba NACTAL President, Abdul Ganiyu Abubakar.

NAPTIP’s Director-General, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, appreciated EU and FIIAPP’s invaluable support at implementing the Agency’s project against human trafficking. As well as other partners including the British High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing that honoured this occasion. She said that partners/stakeholders, both local and international, had over the years proven valuable in their support towards NAPTIP’s effort to rid the country of human trafficking. She noted that the role played by all partners was obvious from the increased awareness, continuous rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration of victims, arrest and prosecution of offenders that upgraded the Agency’s ranking on the Global TIP Report to a Tier 2. The Director General also commended Lawrenta Igoh and other Chevening Scholars Panellists for their generous spirit of giving back by stepping down their knowledge and outcome of their thesis at this event to enrich law enforcement practice in Nigeria.

The A-TIPSOM team leader, Mr Rafael-Rios Molina welcome the new Director General NAPTIP, “We are very happy with the appointment of the new director general of NAPTIP and looking forward to achieving more together with the Agency. He also thanked all participants stating that the Seminar was aimed at bringing together officers/stakeholders working on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIP/SOM), to appraise the criminal justice system post COVID-19 pandemic and seek better ways to improve collaboration with many agencies to tackle and fight TIPSOM.

The 2-Day event was enriched by Panel Chevening Scholars Panellist who studied advanced programmes at various institutions within the UK: Lawrenta Igoh from NAPTIP Reforms Unit, Samuel Olowookere, Military Police and Forensic Expert from the Nigerian Navy, Teniola Tayo, Consultant Institute of Security Studies, Danbala Garba, Lawyer working on Prisons Reforms, and J.K Funsho Ako, Principal Forensics Specialist. They anchored the sessions “Building an Agenda for Action in advancing Criminal Justice in Nigeria through shared information” and shared their experiences on global best practices from studying and working in the UK and other parts of the world, and outcome of their dissertations with key recommendations for improving Law Enforcement Systems. The Chevening Panel Session was moderated by Mr. Terna Tsumba, Former Head, Intelligence, and International Cooperation of NAPTIP.

The event which was moderated by Sani Dantuni, consultant project officer, FIIAPP, featured discussions on TIPSOM, current challenges emerging trends, new ways of thinking solution through shared intelligence and opportunities for collaboration. Other Facilitator at this event include Carolina LIunch Palau, Spanish Public Prosecutor TIPSOM, John Kane and Emiola from British High Commission, Mark Bramah, Director at Corporate Safeguarding UK, Janet Butler, United Way Worldwide, Dr Angharad Smith and Dr Alice from United Nations University, Natacha Rose, Public Prosecutor on THB in Hague and Abdul Ganiyu, President of NACTAL.

Remarking further on this, Mrs. Ulasi Ebele V, NDDI/Head Reforms Unit, thanked all participants for the intellectually stimulating discussion and requested that a communique should be produced from this event to enrich criminal justice guideline and practice for various law enforcement agencies and organizations fighting TIPSOM, and feed into a broader objective of building a roadmap for the future ahead.

Mr. Olubiyi, Director Research and Programme Development (RPD) who is the Agencys’ Focal Person for FIAPP in his closing remark, thanked the DG NAPTIP for honouring this event, the EU Funders/FIIAPP for sponsorship support, and all highly resource participants and facilitators for making this event a huge success. He commended the Chevening Scholar, Lawrenta Igoh, for not only making the Agency proud but also for acquitting herself creditably and for being a good ambassador of Nigeria while her programme lasted in UK/ He urged others to emulate her exemplary conduct and outstanding performance.

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