A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State has sentenced one Ebunoluwa Bankole, 59 years old woman to 30 years imprisonment. She is also to pay a fine of N1, 000,000.00 (one million naira) only for the procurement and exportation of young Nigerian Women to Libya for Prostitution.
Bankole, who was convicted on a six count charge for offences that contravene sections 13 (4b), 14(b) and 18 of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015, bagged five years for each count. The sentence would however, run concurrently.
She was arrested and investigated by officers of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) following a petition dated 26th January, 2016 from a group of Solicitors and Advocates of Human Right, on suspected human trafficking activities being carried out by her, her daughter Lateefat Sanni and son-in-law Muritala Sanni, who are both still at large.
The said petition followed a report to the solicitors by two of the convict’s victims, who approached the solicitors for assistance in finding the whereabouts of their daughters having not heard from them for two weeks.
The petition reported that Bankole’s daughter and son-in-law who are based in Libya usually collected money ranging from the sum of N500, 000 to N1.5 million from their victims with promises of taking them to countries from where they could easily secure visas to either the United Kingdom or United States of America.
Following Ebunoluwa’s conviction, NAPTIP has been charged not to relent in its efforts to arrest Lateefat Sanni and her husband Muritala Sanni who are reportedly still holding and exploiting Nigerian girls in Libya.
Meanwhile, prior to Bankole’s conviction, NAPTIP had secured the conviction of one Mojisola Olonade and Segun Taiwo Sholabi for obstructing NAPTIP officers while effecting the arrest of Lateefat Sanni who had sneaked into the country. The obstruction, which led to the escape of the suspect is an offence contrary to section 32(2b) of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015. They were sentenced to one year imprisonment each or a fine of N100,000 each.
Reacting to this development, the Acting Director-General, Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri stated that the Agency will not rest on its oars in bringing all traffickers to justice.
Segun Taiwo Sholabi
For: Head, Press and Public Relations (NAPTIP)
September 28, 2016