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Edo businessman bags 5yrs imprisonment for kidnapping, others

By Esther Kalu

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has secured a conviction of a businessman, Godstime Ohwonseye, to five years imprisonment for kidnapping, prostitution and human trafficking.

The agency disclosed that asides Ohwonseye, his accomplice, Vero Irowa, was also convicted but could not be sentenced in absentia as she had jumped bail.

Ohwonseye was also said to have been sentenced for unlawful obstruction of authorised officers of the agency in the exercise of power of arrest which contravened Section 32(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

Addressing journalists on Thursday, in Benin, the Zonal Commander, NAPTIP Benin Zonal Command, Nduka Nwanwenne, disclosed that his sentence was secured and that the agency instituted the case in December 2016 before the Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga,who was now retired.

He noted that with the retirement of Edodo-Eruaga, the matter commenced de novo before Justice Geraldine Imadegbelo of High Court, Criminal Division II, Benin on March 13, 2017 and that the convicts pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge.

He explained that counts one and two of the charge bothers procurement for prostitution and organizing foreign travels which promoted prostitution while the third count bothers on unlawful obstruction of authorized officers of the agency in the exercise of power of arrest.

He said: “the first convict, (Irowa), now at large, had sometimes in 2007, procured an underage victim, and handed her over to her daughters for prostitution in Italy. Irowa had deceived the victim that her daughters will assist her in furthering her education in Italy.

“The victim was made to pay the sum of 700,000 Euros equivalent of N80m as of 2007. Fortunately, the victim was rescued by the Netherlands Government and has been in their care and protection.”

Nwanwenne, however, noted that the trial court reserved the sentencing of Irowa and ordered her arrest at sight, while Ohwonseye was sentenced to five years imprisonment without the option of a fine.

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