Thursday, November 26, 2020

NAPTIP activates surveillance strategies to match the antics of traffickers-DG

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By Joseph Erunke

Julie Okah-Donli, CEO of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, said the agency has since activated surveillance strategies to match the antics of traffickers before the yuletide.

This was when she congratulated the judiciary for its collaboration with the agency to ensure that it eradicates human trafficking in the country, and said that she was particularly elated by the recent conviction of a mother and two of her children by a court in Benin, state. by Edo. , after his arrest and prosecution by his agency for his participation in the act.

A statement from NAPTIP through Adekoye Vincent, from its Press and Public Relations Unit, quoted the CEO as saying this as he reacted to the conviction of a 54-year-old woman, Mrs. Helen Ehionzee and her two children, Endurance and Vivian. , for a Benin. Superior Court that sentenced them to 34 years in prison without the option of a fine for a crime of human trafficking and exploitation.

“Dame Julie Okah-Donli, praised the Court’s ruling saying that the sentence that had no option of a fine will certainly serve as a deterrent to potential traffickers,” the statement said.

“I am glad that justice has been duly done to those convicted. I congratulate the Nigerian Judiciary for their support in the fight against human trafficking and ask for more support.

“I also congratulate the officers and men of the Benin Zonal Command for the diligent prosecution of the case.

“For our part, we will continue to unleash pressure on human traffickers in the country. Our determination to make Nigeria a nation free of human trafficking is determined and unwavering.

“It is in the realization of this that we have begun the inauguration of the State Working Groups on Human Trafficking in the Country, among other measures against trafficking.

“We have also activated our surveillance strategies to match the antics of the traffickers before the yuletide,” said the Director General of NAPTIP.

Let us remember that the mallet of justice fell heavily on a 54-year-old woman, Mrs. Helen Ehionzee and her two children, Endurance and Vivian, as a Benin High Court sentenced them to 34 years in prison without the option of a fine for a crime of human trafficking. and exploitation.

Those convicted were brought before the High Court of Benin by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) following their arrest for trafficking a girl (name withheld) to Russia in 2012.

The victims, who were later rescued from sexual exploitation by a Russia-based non-governmental organization, were 19 years old at the time of the incident and were recruited in Benin with a false promise of profitable work abroad.

The latest development came on the heels of repeated warnings from NAPTIP Director General Dame Julie Okah-Donli, who is also the Chairperson of the newly launched Board of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking. that the Agency no longer tolerate any form of trafficking in the country.

After the arrest of those convicted by NAPTIP agents and the detailed investigation, the case was subsequently charged before the Benin High Court with charge No B / NAPTIP / IC / 19 on November 7, 2017 before the then H.E. Judge Eruaga has now retired.

The case began de novo on October 29, 2018, where the defendants pleaded not guilty to an amended charge dated October 5, 2018 namely:

Count 1, recruitment of persons for prostitution contrary to Section 15 (a) for the first and second defendants.

Count 2, Organization of trips abroad promoting prostitution S. 16 for the second accused

Charge 3, Promotion of travel abroad promoting prostitution Section 16 of the Enforcement and Administration Act of the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as amended, for the first and third accused

The Prosecutor’s Office called 4 witnesses as evidence of their case, while the defendants testified by themselves and did not call any witnesses.

The first defendant (Endurance Ehiozee) man who is now 37 years old was sentenced to 14 years in prison for count 1 and 10 years in prison for count 3 to run simultaneously without the option of a fine.

The second defendant (Vivian Omoyemwen Ehiozee) 31 years was sentenced to 14 years in charge 1 and 10 years in charge 2 without option of a fine.

The third defendant (54-year-old Helen Ehiozee and mother of the first and second defendants was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the third count without the option of a fine.

The defendants are from the Local Government Area of ​​Egor de Edo State.

Sentence Delivery in Criminal Court 2, Hon. Justice Geraldine Imadubelo said that the sentences are without the option of a fine.

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