A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has sentenced 27 years old Sylvanus Ubong Sunday to 2 years for human trafficking offences.
The accused, from Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa ibom State, was arrested by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) in November 2017 following a report from a mother that her seven years old daughter was being sexually exploited by the accused person.
Preliminary investigations revealed that he was also sexually abusing another girl, aged 10 and he was subsequently arraigned on a two-count charge of sexually exploiting the two girls aged 7 and 10, a punishable offence under Section 16(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Honourable Justice I.M Sani informed the defendant that having listened to both counsels; the court found him guilty and thereafter sentenced him to two years imprisonment on each charge, without any option of fine. However, the sentences are to run concurrently beginning from the day of his arrest, November 8th, 2017.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, while reacting to the news said that in as much as she would love to see child exploiters bag stiffer sentences, she still expressed her gladness that justice was served. She further urged members of the public to report such cases of child exploitation to NAPTIP, adding that keeping quiet or hiding the culprits will only endanger the lives of more children.
Nneka I Aniagoh
For: Head, Press and Public Relations Unit.
May 30, 2018