By JOHNBOSCO AGBKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA – THE Senate Wednesday, passed a bill seeking to jail human trafficking offenders in the country for seven years with an optional fine to the tune of N1million.
But the Senate reduced the fine for offenders of forced labour from N2 million to N1 million, explaining that “the punishment is slightly reduced to make it consistent with punishments for similar offences under the bill.”
This followed the successful conclusion of a clause-by clause consideration of the report on the bill by the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Women Affairs and Youth Development.
Titled: “A Bill for An Act to Repeal the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003, the bill seeks to enact the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act to provide measures against human trafficking in the country.
Among measures intended to stop the illegal trade of human trafficking in the bill, is a provision which prescribes a minimum seven years jail term for offenders, with a minimum option of N1 million fine.
According to the repealed version of the bill passed by the Senate, “Any person who procures or recruits any person to be subjected to prostitution or other forms of exploitation with himself, any person or persons, either in Nigeria or anywhere else, commits an offence and shall be liable to a conviction to imprisonment for a term of 5 years and to a fine of not less than N1, 000,000.”