A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State has sentenced two men and one woman to jail for child trafficking.
The Convicts, 49 years old Emeka Christopher, from Anambra, Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, 30 years old Kenneth Anajemba, from Oyi Local Government of Anambra State, and 29 years old Esther David, from Wase Local Government Area of Plateau state, were arraigned by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) on June 28th, 2018.
The first defendant, Emeka Christopher, was arrested by officers of the Nigerian Army at a check-point in Jos while on transit with the 5 years old female victim to Anambra state. Upon interrogation, he confessed that he bought the child from Mr. Kenneth Anajemba and Esther David, who had earlier abducted the girl from her mother’s house in Bukuru area of Jos.
They were subsequently arraigned in court on a three-count charge under sections 21, 13 and 27 of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration (TIPPEA), Act (2015). The presiding Judge, Justice V M Agishi, having listened to the prosecuting and defense counsels, found the accused persons guilty and sentenced them accordingly.
Under section 21 of the TIPPEA Act, the first defendant was sentenced to four years imprisonment and a fine of five hundred thousand naira, failure to pay the fine will attract additional 4years imprisonment. The second and third accused persons were sentenced to two years imprisonment each, and a fine of one hundred thousand naira, under section 13 of the TIPPEA Act. Failure to pay fine will attract additional one year imprisonment. Under section 27 of the same Act, the three accused persons were found guilty and sentenced to two years imprisonment each and a fine of five hundred thousand naira, which failure to pay will attract additional two years imprisonment. All sentences will run concurrently while the fine is cumulative.
In her remarks, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, praised the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Army for the referral, and the Judiciary for a speedy trial. She urged parents to be cautious and wary of people who pose as friends and family members who might end up abducting their children. She maintained that sale of human beings is evil and all perpetrators will be prosecuted when caught. She further reiterated her resolve to combat human trafficking and its associated ills, and called for stronger partnership between NAPTIP and other Law Enforcement Agencies to rid our societies of crime.
Nneka I. Aniagoh
For: Head, Press and Public Relations Unit
July 3, 2018