Child trafficking: NAPTIP to arraign chief magistrate, husband

at 10:59 AM, 2 Feb 11 (6 years ago)
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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters, Benin Zonal office on Tuesday said it had concluded plans to arraign a serving Chief Magistrate with the Edo State Judiciary, Mrs. Isi Iyioha, and her husband, Mr. Osobase Omon-Iyioha, for alleged abduction and child trafficking.


NAPTIP’s Head, Public Enlightenment Department, Nduka Nwanwene, who broke the news in a statement issued in Benin, the Edo State capital, said it was based on the investigation of allegations raised in a petition by lawyers to a citizen, Mrs. Florence Ukhun. The petition accused the chief magistrate and her husband of causing the mysterious disapperance and trafficking of the complainant’s 10-month-old son to the United States.


The statement reads, “Investigation revealed that the complainant, Mrs. Florence Ukhun, was a maid to the chief magistrate before a scam traditional marriage was arranged in 2007 by the chief magistrate and her husband for Dr. Imeine Anthony Ukhun, a brother of the chief magistrate who resides in the United States.


“After the marriage, the complainant gave birth to the baby boy named Prince Osei Rudute Ukhun. In November, 2008, the baby was cleverly taken away from the mother without her consent and trafficked abroad.


“On the day of the trip, Florence was asked to meet the chief magistrate at Ramat Park, Benin with the baby. Florence was allegedly given the sum of N2,000 to go and buy some easy wears for herself. The magistrate allegedly took the baby home to join her brother in online prayers. Unknown to Florence, however, her baby, in the company of the magistrate, left for the United States enroute Lagos.”


The statement said the suspects would be arraigned at the Federal High Court 1, Ikpoba Hill in Benin on Wednesday (today) before Justice Hobon Adamu. They are to be arraigned on a four-count charge.


The statement added that in charge sheet No. FHC/B/10c/2011 filed at the corut on January 20, 2011 and titled Attorney-General of the Federation vs Mrs. isi Ukhun Iyioha and Mr. Osobase Omon-Iyioha, they were “accused of taking the boy, Oseirudute Ukhun (10 months old) out of the custody of the lawful guardian without the consent of the guardian and conveyed him beyond the limit of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 19(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003, as amended;


“The second charge stated that the accused abducted Oseirudute Ukhun in order that he be killed for any purpose and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 20 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003, as amended;


“Thirdly, the magistrate and her husband were accused of exporting Oseirudute Ukhun as a slave against his will and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 23 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003, as amended.


“The last charge stated that the accused transferred Oseirudute Ukhun so that he would be treated as a slave thereby committed an offence punishable under section 24 (a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003, as amended.”


However, the magistrate’s husband denied NAPTIP’s claims. Speaking on the telephone, he said, “It is not true. The boy is an American citizen and my wife has a power of attorney letter from my inlaw in the US.”
aliaaz at 11:35 AM, 2 Feb 11 (6 years ago)
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