BENIN CITY — THE Benin High Court presided over by Justice Alero Eruaga has sentenced one Mrs Tobias Esther to 18 months in prison for human trafficking.
The convict was apprehended by officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters, NAPTIP.
Esther was arraigned in court in charge No B/5C/13 on a two-count charge of deceitfully inducing two girls (names withheld) to Togo from Benin City, contrary to Section 19(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003(as amended).
The accused had recruited the victims under the pretext that they were going to learn how to buy clothings and jewelries in Togo. In Togo, the accused forced one of the victims into prostitution, while the second girl escaped prostitution because she fell ill on arrival.
The accused, who was represented by G. Okpala-Aniekire, pleaded guilty as charged. On the basis of a plea for mercy by the defence counsel on behalf of the convict, the court considered the convict’s two-year-old baby and consequently, sentenced her to 18 months imprisonment without an option of fine.
This conviction is coming on the heels of other convictions earned by the Agency. It will be recalled that few weeks ago, the Agency got four human traffickers (two males and two females) jailed for procurement and deceitful inducement of young girls and organizing foreign travel which promotes prostitution.
Reacting to this conviction, the NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Benin City, Mrs. Ebiringa Cordelia Oluchi, said they will be no hiding place for human traffickers.