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Septuagenarian, Two Others Jailed For Human Trafficking

A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna, Kaduna State has sentenced 70 years old Paulina John, Female, to twelve months imprisonment for human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The suspect, from Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, was arraigned by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) for procuring a 15 year old girl for exploitative prostitution, an offence punishable under Section 15(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003, as amended.

The presiding Judge, Honourable Justice S.M. Shuaibu expressed his disappointment that the suspect, despite her age, could involve in such an exploitative crime. Having considered her age and the fact that she is a first offender, the Judge sentenced her to twelve months imprisonment without the option of fine.

In a related story, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, Kano State has sentenced 55 years old Hassana Usman from Nassarawa Local Government Area, and 40 years old Altine Aliyu from Bebeji Local Government Area, both of Kano state, to 24 months each for human trafficking.

The convicted persons were arraigned by NAPTIP on a four-count charge of procuring 4 children between the ages of 8 and 9 for domestic servitude. The victims, all female, were recruited from Bebeji Local Government Area of Kano state for domestic servitude within the Kano metropolis. Recruitment or employment of children for domestic servitude is an offence punishable under section 23 (1) (a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

Having listened to the prosecuting and defense Counsels, the presiding Judge, Justice Jude Dagat declared that the Court found the women guilty of the offence and subsequently sentenced them to six months imprisonment each, on each count, bringing it to a total of twenty four months each without the option of fine.

Reacting to the news, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli applauded the officers for their tenacity and expressed her faith in the Nigerian Judiciary. She also used this opportunity to warn Nigerians to desist from employing children as domestic helps, as they end up abusing them.

The NAPTIP boss said “it is unfortunate that a 70 years old woman would commit such an offence to be jailed for 12 months”, adding that the long arm of the law deals with offenders irrespective of their ages.

Nneka I. Aniagoh

For: Head, Press and Public Relations Unit

May 23, 2018