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‘Engage In Child Trafficking, Abuse And Go To Jail’, Attorney-General Warns

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Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, has disclosed that it is an offense laible on conviction to imprisonment of 7 years hiring any child under the ages of 12 as domestic worker.

She said it is also criminal offense and liable on conviction of imprisonment of 5 years and fine of N5 million recruiting or receiving any child or adult for force labour or even permitting any place or premises for such act.

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Omorogbe, who is also head, Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, gave these hints while parading two women, Mrs. Martina I. Oziegbe and Mrs. Idehen Esohe Grace, who were allegedly involved in child trafficking, abuse and modern slavery of teenagers.

READ ALSO: Pay Our Members Salary For Justice Sake’, ASUU Tells FG

The accused duo, however, pleaded ignorance of the act, claiming that they never knew receiving a child for domestic work was an offense and liable on conviction.

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The Attorney-General, while saying that the accused would be perdoned due to the fact that it was the Taskforce first outing of parading suspect, warned that culprit would be prosecuted and if find guilty would be convicted henceforth, stressing that the Taskforce is empowered by the law to investigate and prosecute anyone into trafficking in persons.

She said, “Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking is empowered by the law to investigate and prosecute human trafficking.

READ ALSO: Pandemonium As Fleeing Bus Driver Hits Wheelbarrow-Pusher In Benin

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“It is an offense to employ, recruit, habor, transport, receive or hire out a child under the ages of 12 years as a domestic worker. Many of these children that are hired as domestic workers are under the of 12, this not allowed at all. Anybody who does this commit an offense and is laible on conviction to imprisonment for a minimum term of six months and not exceeding seven years.

“Anybody who requires, recruit, transport, habor, receive or hire out a person to be used for force labour, within or outside Edo State, or permit any place or premises to be used for force labour, commit an offense and is laible on conviction of imprisonment of not less than 5 years and a fine of N5m.

“When you are bringing someone as house help, you need to know it must not be a child or teenager, it must be an adult. In Edo State, all children are to go to school. Child labour, child trafficking, is not allowed, that is the law.”

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Omorogbe emphasised that it is a crime to take a child to one’s side in guise of taking care of such child and deprived the child of his or her dignity and right to education.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Gbajabiamila And The Greedy Bats

She said regardless of where the child comes from or the status, no child in Edo State is for sale, saying, “Edo State is not a place where a child or a young person can be bought or sold.”

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(PHOTO: File)

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Crime

Nigerian Jailed 235 years For N525m, €64,000 Fraud, Loses Lekki Houses

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Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, has convicted and sentenced Scales Olatunji.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) labelled him “a notorious international fraudster”.

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The convict bagged 235 years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.

Olatunji pleaded “not guilty” after arraignment in July 2019 on 45-count charges.

One reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M”, Meraiyebu Charles “M”(at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga “M”(at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele “M”(at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin “M”(at large), between January 2017 to October 2018 converted N525,172,580”.

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The theft of the funds, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), violated Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Also, Olatunji on or about May 15, 2018, sent electronic messages (email) using emailoffice01@aol.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch.

He impersonated Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanded and received €64,000.

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The offence negates offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

Delivering judgment, Justice Okeke convicted Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC.

The judge said the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were consistent and the prosecution established his guilt.

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READ ALSO: N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

The prosecution was also able to establish the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to forty five of the charges.

The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five.

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The sentence shall run from the date of arrest. The money in his account will be sent to the affected Norwegian citizens through the EFCC.

Olatunji’s properties in Lekki: House No. 6, Road 2 West-end Estate in Ikota and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate are to be sold and the proceeds restituted to the victims.

The EFCC commenced a probe after the convict was caught on March 20, 2019 at his Ikota residence. The action followed a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway.

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N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday affirmed the conviction of former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for N25.7bn fraud but reduced his sentence of 12 years to six years.

The court also affirmed the conviction of Atuche’s co-convict Ugo Anyanwu, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the lower court for stealing and conspiracy to steal.

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Anyanwu’s jail term was also reduced to eight years.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja had on June 16, 2021, sentenced Atuche, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N25.7bn fraud in the bank.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: FG Reverses Nigeria’s Ban From Basketball Competition

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While his former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for stealing and conspiracy to steal and Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was discharged and acquitted.

But dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, Atuche approached the court of Appeal to challenge the judgment.

Details later…

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Crime

Warri Chief Docked, Remanded In Edo Prison

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The police in Edo on Tuesday arraigned 54-year-old Chief Johnson Asteruleghe the Iyesere of Warri, before a Benin High Court, over alleged assault, malicious damage in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.

The defendant, Johnson Asteruleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, is being tried on a seven -count charge of assault and malicious damage with charge No:B/Co 126/22

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Police Prosecutor, DPP, Okunbor Orobosa Esq. told the court that the defendant committed the offence on the 2nd day of February, 2022, at Ologbo in the Benin Judicial Division.

According to him, “You did conspire amongst yourselves to carry on warlike undertaking malicious damage, punishable under section 517 of the Criminal Code, cap.48.vol.11. laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo state.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Warri, Benin Lawyers Worried Over Abduction Of Three Colleagues, Driver

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Okunbor urged the court not to grant the defendant bail, maintaining that he is fond of fermenting trouble when granted bail, citing previous criminal cases of murder against the defendant in which he was granted bail before he committed these offences.

The defendant’s Counsel, Eghedosa Imhandegbelo (SAN) in his oral bail application urged the court to grant the defendant bail.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

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The presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba adjourned the case to 27th of June 2022 for hearing of application for bail.

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