The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has successfully secured the conviction of twenty-nine years old Sekinat Ayomide Owolabi for human trafficking.
The suspect was arraigned by NAPTIP at the Federal High Court Osogbo, on a three-count charge of organising the foreign travel of a nineteen year female victim to Mali for exploitative prostitution. This contravenes sections15 (a), 16 and 19 (b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 (as amended in 2005). The victim, who was rescued by the Nigeria Immigration Services and handed over to NAPTIP, aided the Agency in the subsequent arrest of the suspect.
Having listened to the witness and the evidences tendered by the Agency’s prosecutors, the presiding Judge, Honourable Justice Maureen Adaobi Onyetenu, found the defendant guilty of the three-count Charge and sentenced her to three years imprisonment on the first Count, four years on the second Count, and two years on the third Count. The sentences are however, to run concurrently for four years without an option of fine.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, while reacting to the news of the conviction, lauded the collaborative efforts of the officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service in rescuing the victim and handing her over to NAPTIP, which led to the arrest and prosecution of the suspect. According to her, “this kind of collaboration among law enforcement agencies is what is needed in combating human trafficking in Nigeria” adding that “ our prosecutors will do their utmost best to successfully prosecute the human traffickers and cases handed over to us.”
It would be recalled that the DG of NAPTIP had, a few weeks ago, raised an alarm about the high number of Nigerian girls trafficked to Mali, and who are under sexually exploitative conditions.
She also called on all concerned arms of Government and the International community to help in working out modalities towards the successful rescue and effective rehabilitation of these Nigerian Girls.