A Federal High Court sitting in Kano and a High Court of Justice, Benin-City have sentenced four persons to various jail terms in addition to various fines for committing offences contrary to the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015. One person was convicted in the Kano case while three persons were convicted in the Benin case.
In Kano, on Wednesday 12 April, 2017, Honourable Justice K.K Dagat of the Federal High Court, Kano, Court 2 convicted one Yunusa Umar who was charged to Court by NAPTIP on behalf of the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation for procuring a 13year old girl and having regular unlawful carnal knowledge of her, contrary to the trafficking Act.
On arraignment on the case with Charge number FHC/KN/CR/54/2017, Yunusa pleaded guilty to the one count charge and was convicted. He was subsequently sentenced to 15years imprisonment and in addition, to pay N1million fine.
Similarly, the Agency secured another conviction at the High Court of Justice, Benin City in another case of sexual exploitation in which two Secondary School Students were trafficked contrary to the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
The Accused Persons are Ngozi Owoh (F) (22), Ahmed Babatayo Femi (M) (33) and Odigie Iyobosa (M) (29). They were arraigned on 5 counts charge including, Procuring an under aged girl for Prostitution, Organizing foreign travels which promotes Prostitution and Conspiracy to facilitate foreign travel. Delivering judgment in the case, Honourable Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga found them guilty as charged
The 1ST accused person pleaded guilty to Count 1 to 5. She was a former victim of Human Trafficking and had been trafficked to Cote- de- Iviore, Libya and Morocco. She was sentenced to two (2) years imprisonment on each of the counts or a fine of #150,000 on each of the five (5) Counts. The 2nd and 3rd accused Persons were equally sentenced to two (2) years imprisonment or a fine of N150,000 on each of the two (2) Counts. The fines are cumulative while the sentence is to run concurrently.
The 3 accused persons had recruited their victims with promises of better life and opportunities abroad. Before embarking on the trip, they were taken to the shrine where oath of secrecy was administered.
As the sentence was pronounced, the accused persons burst into tears and wept profusely, pleading for mercy. However, Hon Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga said they cannot obtain mercy for engaging in inhuman activities.
Reacting to the Convictions, the Acting Director-General of NAPTIP, Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri said there will be no hiding place for all traffickers. He stressed that the Agency was poised to bringing all offenders to book.
Hajara Lami Shehu
For: Head, Press and Public Relations.