A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sentenced three women to six months in jail after they were found guilty of a five-count charge bordering on human trafficking.
According to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the women were arrested in March 2015 over allegations of human trafficking.
NAPTIP had charged the women to court in a suit marked FHC/133/2017 containing a six-count charge against them.
The presiding judge ruled that the three women were guilty of contravening Section 23(1)(b) of TIPEA, 2015.
Delivering his judgement, the judge found the accused women guilty of five of the six-count charge levelled against them.
Consequently, they were sentenced to six months imprisonment which was to run concurrently from the time they were arrested in March 2015.
NAPTIP noted that the judgement was given following a plea of allocution by the accused and the present Covid-19 pandemic.
The punishment for the offence attracts a minimum term of two years, but not exceeding seven years.without an option of fine.
After the judgement was delivered, the convicts were left to regain their freedom.
Reacting to the judgement, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, director-general of NAPTIP, lauded the judiciary’s effort in ensuring that justice was delivered, most especially in cases of human trafficking. He also urged victims of human trafficking to ensure that such cases were reported.
A report by the United States Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons titled ‘2020 Trafficking in Persons Report: Nigeria,’ states that in 2020, NAPTIP received 943 cases for investigation, completed 210 investigations, prosecuted 64 suspects, and convicted 27 traffickers.
According to the report, this is lower than it did in 2019 where it received 938 cases for investigation, completed 192 investigations, 64 prosecutions, and 43 convictions.