Senate Prescribes 5year Jail Term For Human Traffickers

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Former President of the Senate

 

By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday prescribed five year jail term and a minimum fine of  N1million for anyone found guilty of human trafficking.The Senate’s decision was  part of the recommendations approved after the consideration of the report clause by clause of its Committee on Judiciary, on the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Act 2003.The committee report was presented on the floor of the Senate today during plenary by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters,  Senator Umaru Dahiru.

Speaking considering the report of committee Senator Phillip Aduda,  said the 2-year jail term provided by the former Act was not stringent enough for such a crime as grievous as human trafficking.

He noted that the prevalent cases of baby factories in parts of the country made it imperative for parliament to come up with stiffer punishment to curb the trend which has even taken an international dimension.

“If you look at the cases of the various baby making factories in some parts of the country like Enugu and Kogi,  you will be shocked that some people will just keep women, get them pregnant and sell the babies. Apart from that child trafficking and indeed trafficking is something very serious.

“In the world over it is being taking very seriously. This is a  form of slavery which should not happen in modern day Nigeria and indeed in the world.”

On the why Senate decided to come up with stiffer punishments for offenders, Adauda said the punishments recommended in the initial Acts was a bit too lenient for such a serious crime.

“For somebody to buy a ticket of N100, 000 or 1million just to traffic somebody tells you that it is a very costly ventures. As such those who are caught doing it should be made to be pay very serious money and the penalty should be stiffer.

“If for instance you ask someone to pay just N250, 000  for trafficking, it is too cheap because the person may just pay easily. It is the same thing when you say 2 years in jail. The person may just look at it and agree because he is sure to be out in just two years. But if you put the penalty and they are very stiff, people will be discouraged. They will think of the implications of spending five years in jail and they won’t do it. To my mind the penalty we have given are stiff enough. That is not less than five years or one million depending on the discretion of the judge.”