By NBAFAN ADE, Abuja
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has secured another conviction as a Nassarawa State High Court sitting in Guruku, Mararaba sentenced a 48 years old man, Pastor BawaMadaki from Kaduna State, to 14 years imprisonment for child trafficking.
A statement on Monday by Nneka I. Aniagoh of the Press and Public Relations Unit, NAPTIP, said the accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of fraudulently procuring two under-aged children (5 years and 7 years respectively) from their parents in ZanzoKataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
According to the statement, the accused subsequently sent one child to Lagos in an illegal adoption arrangement and the other to Abuja as a domestic worker, thus depriving their parents of the lawful custody of the children. This contravenes section 19 (e) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 (as amended).
The case, which was filed on May 27, 2015, was transferred to NAPTIP by the Nigerian Police who acted on a tip-off; Officers of the Agency thereafter moved in and rescued the children. The trial commenced on June 23rd, 2015 and on Monday, March 26th 2018, the court found the accused guilty.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge Hon. Justice Haruna A. Offor convicted the accused person and thereafter sentenced him to 14 (fourteen) years imprisonment without the option of a fine.
Reacting to the judgment, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli praised the tenacity of the prosecuting Officers and the Judiciary for ensuring that justice is served in this case.
She also used the opportunity to caution the public against illegal adoption and engaging of under-aged children as domestic workers, whom she said are often maltreated and abused by their employers. She warned detractors to desist from such acts as the arm of the law will catch up with them if they fail to do so. This brings the total amount of convictions secured by the Agency to 342.