By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
A Benin High Court last week sentenced three human traffickers, Ngozi Owoh 22, Ahmed Babatayo Femi 33 and Odigie Iyobosa 29 to two years imprisonment for trafficking two female Senior Secondary Students in Benin.
Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga however gave them fine option of N150,000 on each count charge after pleading guilty to the charges.
A statement from National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons’ (NATIP) Head of Public Enlightenment Unit, Benin Zonal Command, Nduka Nwanenne, said they were arraigned before the Court in charge No/B/NAPTIP/2C/2017.
The convicts were charged with procuring underage girls for prostitution, organising foreign travels which promote prostitution and conspiracy to facilitate foreign travel contrary to the provision of Trafficking in Person (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
NATIP prosecutor, Emodogo Rosemary told the Court that the convicts recruited the two student’s age, 16 and 18 and promised them better life and opportunity abroad.
He added “The convicts were alleged to have before embarking on the journey took the victims to a shrine where oath of secrecy was administered on them,”.
He said they were intercepted at Seme boarder enroute Cote-de Ivoire by the Nigeria Immigration Service who arrested one of them, rescued the victims and handed them over to NAPTIP for prosecution.
Reacting to the development, the Benin Zonal commander, Mr. Odita Ifechukwude Ebenezer, said there would be no hiding place for traffickers in the state, assuring that the command is ready to bring offenders to book.