Mother of 7 Jailed For Human Trafficking

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By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City

A 58 years old woman and mother of seven children, Mrs. Joy Raji, from Ikpoba Okha LGA of Edo State has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for Human Trafficking. 

The accused was arraigned in Charge No. B/IC/16 on three counts before the High Court of Justice, Benin City, in January 2016, for deceitful inducement to move from any place, receiving a person to be used for forced labour and slave dealings  contrary to the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2013, as amended

The accused person who was arraigned before Honourable Justice Alero Edodo Eruaga, pleaded “not guilty” to the charge according to NAPTIP prosecution, who called three (3) witnesses at the trial and tendered exhibits, including a slave uniform passport, travel tickets and bank teller to prove it’s case,   The accused trafficked 18years old girl who works as an Artist Designer in Benin City, before she was trafficked to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, for exploitative purposes

The accused allegedly collaborated with her brother, Evans Aghahowa, (now at large) and introduced to the victim, the idea of travelling to Kuwait for better living.

Various sums of money were also collected from the victim’s mother, Mrs. Mary Osula, who is a trader, to facilitate the trip. 

In Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, the victim was sold from one person to another without proper care.

The victim testified that in Kuwait “a certain man took me to a 20-storey building and I was locked up inside, I never came out again.  I was not given food; I ate from remnants I could find. When I complained, the man told me that he paid 750 Kuwait Dinar to purchase me”

The victim was later sold again to another woman in Saudi Arabia, who kept giving her work to do without food and not letting her go out of the house.

The victim was held in bondage in two countries and her life and liability was under the absolute control of her ‘Oga” and ‘Madam”.

The victim narrated that she ran away once to the police in Kuwait but was unfortunately returned back to her madam who purchased her.

In the judgement, the accused was found guilty and sentenced to four (4) years imprisonment on count I and two (2) years imprisonment on count 2 without option of fine.  The sentence is to run concurrently.  

It will be recalled that in April, 2017 the Agency earned the conviction of three human traffickers in Edo State to two (2) years imprisonment each, for trafficking, two (2) female secondary school students (16years and 18years) to Cote de Ivoire.  for prostitution contrary to the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
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