THREE JAILED FOR CHILD TRAFFICKING
A Federal High Court sitting in Port-Harcourt has convicted and sentenced three persons to jail for human trafficking, just as NAPTIP and relevant agencies intensify search for the missing child.
The suspects, Olujimi Mayokun, Peace Eze, and Adaugo Okafor, were arraigned on 13th November 2018 by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on a six-count charge of child abduction and sale of person, acts which contravene sections 13 and 21 of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
NAPTIP’s Operatives and a team from the Inspector-General of Police’s Monitoring Team had arrested the suspects during a joint operation. After through investigations, it was revealed that they abducted a two years old male child from Awka, Anambra State, and taken to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The female suspects, Peace Eze and Adaugo Okafor, kidnapped their neighbour’s son, and after demanding for ransom payment from his parents, took the child to Port Harcourt where they met with Mr. Olujimi Mayokun who connived with them to sell the child. In Port Harcourt, the boy was taken to Omega Power Ministry and sold to unknown persons.
The presiding Judge, Justice J.K Omotosho was very livid with the defendants, as all efforts made to locate the child have so far proved abortive, and they could not identify or locate to whom they sold the child.
Having heard the prosecuting and defense counsels, the Honourable Court found them guilty on all six counts and thereafter sentenced the first defendant, Mr. Olujimi Mayorkun to three years imprisonment and a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand naira on the First Count, and Seven years imprisonment and a fine of three million naira on count two.
The second and third defendants were sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand naira each, on the third and fourth counts, and five years’ imprisonment with a fine of five million naira on the fifth and sixth count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Reacting to the news, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, commended the efforts of the Nigeria Police in the investigations and arrests, but expressed her sadness that the child still have not been located.
She further empathized with the parents of the victim and assured them that no stone will be left unturned to ensure that their son is located, rescued and reunited with his family.
Dame Julie Okah-Donli used this opportunity to caution Nigerians especially parents to be mindful of who they trust around their children, and report any suspicious characters to the Police or relevant authorities. The DG expressed her optimism that the child will be found, and called on the public to be watchful around their neighbourhood.
Head, Press and Public Relations Unit
July 3rd, 2019.