By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—A Benin high court, presided over by Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga, yesterday, sentenced one Mrs Regina Osarieme, a mother of four, to 15 years imprisonment for human trafficking.
The trafficker was alleged to have recruited a 16-year-old girl, who is in Senior Secondary 2 at Okha Secondary School, Benin, and promised to take her to Russia.
Before embarking on the journey, the victim was requested to pay a registration fee of N50,000 and two bails of wrapper to the accused.
The accused, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, hails from Ewega village in Orhionwon Local Government Area of Edo State. She was said to have recruited the girl through an agent called Anthony.
A statement by NAPTIP Zonal Commander, Nduka Nwanw-nenesaid: “As soon as the victim was recruited, she was taken to a popular motor transporter in Benin, where she boarded a vehicle to Lagos and from there to Cotonou and then Mali.
“In Mali, the victim realised that she was not taken to Russia as promised and bluntly refused to engage in prostitution. Her new Madam, called Princess, forcefully collected her pants, finger nails and hair and forced her to take oath.
“Subsequently, she was forced into prostitution and all her earnings were collected by Madam Princess.
“An initial attempt by the victim’s mother, Mrs Matilda Enabulele, to rescue the daughter was rebuffed by Madam Princess, who claimed that she bought the victim for N300,000 and that she has to be paid back that amount before the victim could be released.
“The victim later escaped and was rescued by NAPTIP.”
However, Justice Edodo-Eruaga, found the accused guilty and sentenced her to five years imprisonment on each of the three counts. The sentence is to run concurrently.