Court orders remand of 55-year-old woman for alleged human trafficking
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that a 55-year-old woman, Patricia Ekhoe Igbinovia, be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over alleged trafficking of a lady for foreign prostitution.
The judge ordered Igbinovia to be remanded, after she was arraigned on a six-count charge brought against her by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Person (NAPTIP).
The woman, Igbinovia who is also known as Audu Mariam Olayemi and Mama Bobby, engaged in the alleged act in 2015, December 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The prosecutor, Becky Jibo, told the court that the defendant in those years trafficked some lady from Lagos to Malaga and Spain for the purpose of prostitution.
Two of the ladies she allegedly trafficked were Sandra Okizene Sanni, a.k.a Tracy and Sarah; Kem Olomo, also known as (Osato) and Peace.
The defendant was alleged to have committed the offence with one Oyo, said to be at large. Her offence is contrary to and punishable under section 18 and 27(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015. She pleaded not guilty to all the count charges.
Following her plea of not guilty, the prosecutor, (Jibo) asked the court for a trial date and prayed the court to remand her in the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till the determination of the suit.
The prosecution counsel, told the court that her request for the defendant’s remand was based on the fact that if granted bail, she may not come to the court for trial, as she was having two international passports, which she said made it difficult for her agency (NAPTIP) to track her.
However, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Uche Okoronkwo told the court that a bail application has been filed and same has been served on the prosecutor.
Okoronkwo added that the offence committed by the defendant is a bail-able one. He therefore urged the court to grant the application.
Justice Aneke while ruling on their submission ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of NCoS and adjourned to January 21, for ruling on the bail application.