A trader who trafficked 10 young girls to Nigeria for labour and prostitution has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the Accra Circuit Court.

Fati Abubakari, who was convicted to five years each on two separate dockets for engaging in human trafficking, was whisked away in a waiting van around 11 am to begin her jail term.

In the first case, she was charged with her former husband for conspiracy and human trafficking.

Her former husband, Bawa Salifu, who was at large during the trial, was, however, acquitted and discharged on two counts of conspiracy and human trafficking.

Fati was, however, convicted on five counts of human trafficking.

In the second case, Fati was charged along with her two sisters, Memuna Abukari and Zinabu Abukari, both traders.

Her sisters were acquitted and discharged on conspiracy and human trafficking charges but the court found Fati guilty and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment.

The court took into consideration the fact that she was a mother of two and that she was a first offender.

It also ordered Fati to return all items she had seized from her victims, as well as pay them their accrued salaries.

Acquitting the other accused persons, the court held that the prosecution failed to lead evidence to prove their guilt.

The facts of the case were that Fati had, in 2007, trafficked her victims from Agbogloshie in Accra and Gushegu in the Northern Region to Nigeria for labour and prostitution.

According to the prosecuion, 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.

It said on December 28, 2010, a victim confided in the complainant that about four years ago she and other girls had been recruited by the accused persons from Agbogbloshie 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 anything at all.

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 Fati had been in the trafficking trade for the past 10 years. She denied committing any offence but admitted transporting a number of girls to Nigeria for work.

Source Graphic Ghana

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