Trader jailed for human trafficking

Accra Jan. 29, GNA – A Circuit Court in Accra has sentenced Fati Abubakar, a trader to five years imprisonment for trafficking 10 girls, child labour and prostitution in Nigeria.

This was after Fati, 37, had been found guilty in engaging in human trafficking.

Convicting her last Friday, the court noted that Fati was a first offender, a mother of three and a plea for mitigation put in by her lawyer, Mr Abdul Samad.

Fati’s sisters Memuna Abukari and Zinabu Abukari, all traders, who were said to have been in this illegal profession for the past 10 years, were however acquitted and discharged on the charges of conspiracy and human trafficking.

In another development, the same court also found Fati guilty for trafficking another victim to Nigeria and sentenced her to a five-year jail term. It however acquitted and discharged her former husband, Bawa Salisu, who was said to have conspired with Fati to transport another victim, to Nigeria.

Fati and her two sisters were alleged to have, sometime in 2007, trafficked their victims from Agbogloshie in Accra and Gushegu in the Northern Region and transported them to Nigerian.

The victims are Ayisha Ibrahim, Zara Abukari, Hamama Dokrugu, Amina Ali, Ikema Alhassan, Adiza Fuseini, Fatima Yakubu, Rahimatu Alhassan, Nasara Adams and Ibrahim Ayisha.

The accused persons each pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy and human trafficking and each of them was granted bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with a surety.

Prosecuting, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mary Agbozo told the court that the complainant in the case was a member of staff of the Regional Advocacy Information and Network System (RAINS), a non-governmental organisation, while the accused persons lived in Ghana and Nigeria.

According to the prosecutor, on December 28, 2010, a victim confided in the complainant that about four years ago she and other girls were recruited by the accused persons from Agbogloshie and Gushegu and transported to Nigeria under the pretext of securing them jobs.

The victim told the complainant that she and the other girls were made to sell porridge during the day and forced to engage in prostitution during the night.

According to her, the accused persons took all the proceeds from the sale of the porridge and the prostitution, without paying her and her colleagues.

In the process, one of the girls was forced into marriage, while one of them went through a series of abortions as a result of having unprotected sex with her male customers.

During investigations, it emerged that the accused persons had been in the trafficking trade for the past 10 years. They denied committing any offence but admitted transporting a number of girls to Nigeria for work.

Eleven of the rescued girls are currently in a safe shelter.

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