A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State capital presided over by Honourable Justice T. B Adegoke, has convicted a middle aged man Frank Israel for trafficking a 22 years old job seeker, (Name withheld) to Europe for labour exploitation thereby violating the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement Act 2015 as amended.
The convict was arraigned in Court by the Benin Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) following his arrest by the men of the Asaba Division of the Nigeria Police in 2020.
In the case No. FHC/ASB/ 35c/ 2020, Investigation revealed that sometimes in 2017, the convict recruited the victim one (Name withheld) on the promise of smuggling him to Europe at the payment of the sum of N900, 000.00 (Nine Hundred Thousand Naira).
The victim paid the initial sum of 150k through his sister and the convict took him to Libya and abandoned him there. The victim was arrested and sent to prison in Libya and was later released to Nigeria government and was evacuated with other illegal immigrants.
Luck however ran out on him as he was later arrested by Nigeria police Asaba division following a complaint lodged by the aggrieved victim and handed over to NAPTIP on the 24th June 2020.
After thorough investigation by the operatives of NAPTIP, Benin Zonal Command, the case was filed on 12th November. 2020, arraigned on the 25th January 2021.
Due to the overwhelming evidence against him as tendered by the investigation officer, the convict pleaded guilty and was accordingly sentenced to 6 months imprisonment without option of fine by the Judge.
Speaking on the development, Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, commended the Nigerian Police for the inter-Agency collaboration and prompt referral that culminated in the speedy prosecution of the convict.
She also commended the Judiciary for wedging the big hammer on the convict without option of fine in line with the amended Trafficking in Persons Law which outlawed option of fine for trafficking cases.
While expressing hope that the conviction will serve as deterrent to other intending traffickers, the NAPTIP Director General assured that the Agency shall continue to fish out the traffickers in the Country for prosecution.
Head, Press and Public Relations Unit