An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo, the state capital has convicted and sentenced a 47-year-old mother of three, Gertrude Akpan, to 10 years in prison for child trafficking.
Akpan, a retired hospital matron, was convicted for trafficking a 6-year-old boy and selling him for the sum of N200,000.
The retired matron was said to have bought the child for the sum of N50,000, after which she took him to Owerri, Imo State where she sold him to one Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna, a native of Bende in Abia State.
Presiding over the matter, Justice Okon Okon found Akpan guilty of the offence and gave the sentence without an option of fine.
Delivering judgement in the case, Justice Okon held that “apart from the confession of the convict, the evidence of the prosecution witness that she assisted the police in the recovery of the child victim from the buyer in Owerri, remained unchallenged and therefore accepted.”
Also, he held that the evidence of the prosecution was that one Ubong Charles Ekwere had on May 12, 2018, abducted the six-year-old boy in the lawful custody of his grandmother and sold him to the convict at the sum of N50,000, who in turn, sold the victim to Ogbonna.
The presiding judge ruled that the convict was “guilty of unlawful removal and transfer of the child 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.
“Such evil trade must be deprecated, forestalled and checkmated by every right-thinking member of the society,” Justice Okon added.
Meanwhile, the convict was said to have confessed that she has been in the trafficking business since 2008.
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