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Lagos woman bags 7-year jail term for trafficking young girls for prostitution

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Lagos Federal High Court has jailed Patricia Igbinovia, 55, for 7-years for her involvement in the trafficking of young girls overseas for prostitution.

 

In addition to the penalty, the court ordered the convicted party to pay N1 million for her illegal behaviour.

 

The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, or NAPTIP, brought the defendant before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.

 

The defendant was charged with six charges related to trafficking young girls, encouraging girls’ prostitution, and sexual exploitation. However, the defendant entered a guilty plea.

 

According to the accusation made by the prosecutor, Becky Jibo, the defendant was a member of a cartel that plans and funds girls’ trips abroad to encourage prostitution and sexual exploitation.

 

She alleged the prisoner enlisted girls to travel to Málaga, Spain, from Lagos, to engage in prostitution.

 

The prosecution requested an appeal to examine the case’s facts after the guilty plea was entered by the prisoner, and the court allowed it.

 

Mabel Bajulaiye, a team member who looked into the intelligence regarding the Nigerian organised criminal gang, was summoned as a witness by the prosecutor.

 

The witness described to the court how, at some point in 2016, information concerning a criminal organisation that trafficked young girls to Madrid and Málaga, Spain, was obtained by the Federal Government via the Attorney General’s office.

 

According to Bajulaiye, the girls were forced into prostitution to be exploited sexually and to earn money.

 

The witness said that the crime was discovered as a result of the Spanish and Nigerian governments working together to combat prostitution and human trafficking.

 

Justice Aneke noted in his decision that he had heard the defence’s request for mercy, particularly because the guilty party had not taken up any court time.

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