A Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, has sentenced a 24-year-old lady, Mercy Sese, to seven years’ imprisonment.
The presiding judge, Justice Abdu Dogo, sentenced the accused after she pleaded guilty to seven counts of organising foreign trips for young girls to Mali for sexual exploitation.
The offence is said to be contrary to sections 18, 27 and 29 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015.
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person, Makurdi Zonal Command, had in January 2022 arrested Sese at a popular motor park in Makurdi.
The Zonal Commander, Mrs Gloria Bai, said huge sums of money, including foreign currencies, were recovered from her.
She said, “The command, in the early hours of Friday, January 7, 2022, received a call from a concerned citizen from Duku Motor Park at Wurukum Makurdi, who alerted the command to a suspected case of human trafficking involving seven ladies of which one is the suspected trafficker.
“Officers of the command arrived at the Duku Motor Park some minutes after receiving the call and met the six ladies and the suspect, who said they were all travelling to Lagos. The victims were between the ages of 16 and 24 by facial analysis. At the time of the arrival, the Nigeria police were also on the ground.
“About N500,000 was found on the suspect, alongside some foreign currencies, indicating that the victims were to be moved to a destination outside the country yet to be determined.”
Delivering the judgement, Justice Dogo jailed the convict for seven years with a fine option of N4.5m.