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Akwa-Ibom Crime

Woman gets 10 years sentence for child trafficking in Akwa Ibom

An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has sentenced a 47-year-old woman, Gertrude Akpan, to 10 years in prison for child trafficking without an option of fine.

Akpan was said to have bought a six-year-old boy in Uyo and transferred him to Owerri in Imo State where she sold the victim for N200, 000, to one Kate Ogbonna, an indigene of Bende in Abia State.

Akpan, a mother of three children from Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and a retired staff of Immanuel Hospital, Eket, who retired as a matron in 2015, confessed that she has been in the business of selling and buying children since 2008.

According to the evidence of the prosecution, one Ubong Ekwere had on May 12, 2018, abducted the six-year-old boy who was in the lawful custody of his grandmother.The victim was said to have been sold to the convict for N50, 000, who in turn sold the child to Kate Ogbonna in Owerri for N200, 000.

In his judgement, the Presiding Judge, Justice Okon Okon said, “Apart from the confession of the convict, the evidence of the prosecution witness that she assisted the police in the recovery of the child from the buyer in Owerri remains unchallenged and therefore accepted.”

Justice Okon found the accused “guilty of unlawful removal and transfer of the victim from Akwa Ibom State to Owerri, Imo State.

“It is sadistic that Gertrude, a mother of children, indulged in selling children of others, thereby depriving the innocent children of the natural love, care and upbringing by their parents.

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“Such evil trade must be deprecated, forestalled and checkmated by every right-thinking member of the society. Buying and selling of children are against social and moral values of the people of Akwa Ibom State,” the judge said.

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