Justice has been served in the case- Federal Republic of Nigeria VS Terry Homuere Smooth & Prescilla Bassey Effiong, as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced them to jail for human trafficking.
It would be recalled that in a video that went viral on social media in 2015, a victim of human trafficking, Chisom, was seen naked and swearing an oath of allegiance to her ‘madam’ in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, pledging to serve her, pay thirty thousand United States Dollars, and abide by her rules or the video would be released to the public.
Based on intelligence gathered from detailed surveillance by officers of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), the first and second defendants were arrested on the 19th and 21st August 2015 respectively.
They were arraigned in court on a two-count charge under section 14(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015, which criminalises the export of another person from Nigeria, knowing or having reason to know, that the person wiII be forced or induced into prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation in the country to which the person is exported or while in transit. Also, section 18 of the same Act prohibits any person from organising, facilitating or promoting foreign travels which promote prostitution or other forms of exploitation of any person, or encouraging such activity.
The presiding Judge, Hon. Justice O.O. Oguntoyinbo, having listened and witnessed the evidence tendered by the prosecution, found the defendants guilty on 27th November, 2018, and sentenced them as follows: on count one, the prisoners were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and one million Naira, and five years’ imprisonment in respect of count two.