Court jails 29-year-old for human trafficking

By Darlington Omotoso

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has successfully secured the conviction of twenty-nine years old Sekinat Ayomide Owolabi for human trafficking.

According to a statement from the Head, Press and Public Relations Unit of the Agency, the suspect was arraigned by NAPTIP at the Federal High Court, Osogbo, on a three-count charge of organising the foreign travel of a nineteen year female victim to Mali for exploitative prostitution. This contravenes sections15 (a), 16 and 19 (b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 (as amended in 2005). The victim, who was rescued by the Nigeria Immigration Services and handed over to NAPTIP, aided the Agency in the subsequent arrest of the suspect.

Having listened to the witness and the evidences tendered by the Agency’s prosecutors, the presiding Judge, Honourable Justice Maureen Adaobi Onyetenu, found the defendant guilty of the three-count charge and sentenced her to three years imprisonment on the first count, four years on the second count, and two years on the third count. The sentences are however, to run concurrently for four years without an option of fine.

The Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, while reacting to the news of the conviction, lauded the collaborative efforts of the officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service in rescuing the victim and handing her over to NAPTIP, which led to the arrest and prosecution of the suspect.

Owasanoye sworn in as new chairman of ICPC

Professor Bolaji Owasanoye has been sworn in as the new Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

President Muhammadu Buhari swore in Prof. Owasanoye recently at a brief ceremony in the Council Chamber, State House. Also sworn in were eight other new Board Members for the Commission.

While swearing them in, President Buhari said, “ I am particularly delighted that the ICPC law under which you will operate is robust enough to assist government to sanitise the public sector in service delivery, public procurement, diversion of public revenue, deliberate misuse of public funds, and so on.”

Responding, the new Chairman swore to eschew, expose and fight corruption. He also said that he was encouraged by the unquestionable, unshakeable and unequivocal stand of Mr. President against corruption, which indicated a very strong political will to fight corruption, and therefore promised on behalf of the new members that they would not disappoint the nation in their assignment.

The Senate had, late last year, screened and confirmed the professor and other board nominees whose nominations had been pending for over a year.

The Hon. Members that were sworn in with Prof. Owasanoye are Grace Chinda (Delta State), Titus Okolo (Enugu), Obiora Igwedebia (Anambra), Justice Adamu Bello (Katsina).

Others include Olubukola Balogun (Lagos), Hannatu Muhammed (Jigawa), Abdulahi Saidu (Niger) and Yahaya Dauda (Nasarawa).

The Chairman will be in office for a tenure of 5 years, which is renewable only once, while the Board Members have a 4-year tenure that is also renewable only once.

Prof. Owasanoye will be the fourth substantive Chairman of ICPC since its inception and has by the swearing-in taken over the reins of office from the acting Chairman, Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar, who is the Commission’s Secretary.