By Jethro Ibileke
A 28-year-old woman, Vivian Francis has explained why she lured three of her siblings from Cross River State to Benin, Edo’s state, for prostitution.
Vivian who was convicted by Justice Isoken Erameh, of Edo State High Court 3 (Criminal Division), for human trafficking, said she lured the victims, aged 15, 17, and 18, on the pretence that she was going to secure bar tender’s jobs for them, but ended “fixing them” into prostitution to keep them busy during the Covid-19.
The convict who hailed from Obubra local government area of Cross River State, made the confession while speaking with journalists after she was sentenced by the court.
“I have made a mistake by bringing my sisters to Benin, I did not know it was going to end up this way. I just felt they should keep themselves busy in Benin that was why I fixed them in that line.
“When they came to Benin, they realised that I was into prostitution, that was why I told them to do the same. I pray that others should not make the kind of mistake I made,” she said.
Vivian who pleaded guilty to the crime punishable under section 13 of the NAPTIP Act, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment, with an option of N125, 000 fine, as a first time offender.
The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Ijeoma Uduak, said the convict was nabbed at a popular hotel in Benin, during the thick of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Uduak said: “We clamped down on the suspect during the Covid-19 lockdown in a popular hotel in Benin.
“She confessed going to Cross River State to bring the three girls, who were aged 15, 17, and 18.
“She told them that she had secured a bar attendant jobs for them, but when they got here, she started using them for prostitution and collecting the proceeds.
“She was arrested and charged to the court in violation of Section 13 of the NAPTIP Act.”
She noted that the victims had been reunited with their family in Cross River State.