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Court Jails Ex-Policeman, Other For Human Trafficking

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A former policeman, Ariwayo Oloyede Destiny, a.k.a Oyinbo, has been convicted for trafficking in person by a Federal High Court, Lagos.

The former policeman was convicted alongside a Burkina-aso based Nigerian, Christian Segun Owanebi, by the court presided over by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, who pronounced them guilty of three counts charge of conspiracy and human trafficking.

While Ariwayo was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the three counts, his co- convict, Christian Segun Owanebi was sentenced to seven years Imprisonment on each of the three counts , however, the sentence is to run concurrently.

The convicted policeman, who resides at Block 337, Flat 2, Ilasan Estate, Lekki, Lagos, and his co-convict, whose address was given as Pagilaidi, Ouagadaugou, Burkina Faso, were arraigned before the court by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP).

They were first arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu (now retired) sometimes in 2014.

The two convicts, were accused of conspiring with one another to procure a 19 year-old Onyinyechi, for prostitution in Burkinafaso.

The prosecutor, Barrister Chinedu Akaegbu, had told the court that the offences committed by the convicts, were contrary to and punishable under sections 15a and 16 of the trafficking in person prohibition law enforcement and administration Act 2003.

The two convicts had pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were consequently admitted to bail on various terms.

During the convicts’ trial, NAPTIP through its lawyer, called two witnesses, the Investigation police Officer and the crime victim and tendered several exhibits.

The victim, who formerly worked as a maid, in the luxury1004 Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos in her testimony before the court, narrated how she was lured into prostitution by the convicts, who promised her of greener pastures in Burkina Faso.

In her testimony she said: “i was working as a maid in Ajah, before I was approached by Ariwayo who promised to secure a job for me as a supermarket attendant at Burkina Faso, and therefore charged me N200, 000, for traveling arraignment and securing the job, but promised to reduce the money to N150,000, if she allow him to have sex with me, which I agreed to.

“I did not tell my mother before we embarked on the journey to Burkina Faso. My handset was seized from me and on getting to Burkina Faso, I was handed over to a woman called Eunice, who is also a commercial sex worker.”

The crime victim further told the court how her new ‘madam’, assigned her to a hotel. She said: “my new mistress later assigned to an hotel, where i normally resume by 6 pm and close by 12pm. While she also prepared me for the job, by given me lectures on how to attract customers.

“I normally sleep with average of 10 to 12 men everyday and realized 85, 000, CFA everyday.”

She further told the court that after a week, Christian who lives with his wife in Burkina Faso, told her he is traveling back to Nigeria, he gave her his phone, because her phone have been seized from her pending the time she will balance her debt. She then asked Christian to visit her mother who lives in Oke-ode street, Lagos, and gave her some money, Christian then promised to call her so that she can speak with her mother in Lagos.

The victim further narrated that before she left Lagos, the two convicts, made her to swear to an oath the if she tells anyone, the god of iron should killed her. They used palm oil, iron rods, red cloths and razor to take blood from her hand, all this thing plus her hair. Adding that the oath taking was done by a herbalist.

She told the court how she summoned courage and tell her mother the true position of things on phone, and that her mother later called police to arrest Christian and his accomplice, the case was later transferred to NAPTIP who facilitated her coming back to Nigeria.

Delivering judgment on the charges on Friday, Justice Awogboro, after legally weighed all the evidence given by the witnesses and convicts, arguments canvassed by counsel, and citing several legal authority, said that the prosecution have been able to proved all the charges against the convicts beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge also held that the submissions made by the convicts’ counsel are after thought.

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