Obaseki seeks better collaboration with judiciary, NAPTIP on conviction of traffickers
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is collaborating with the judiciary and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to ensure conviction of traffickers.
Obaseki said the state government would go after assets and property of persons behind trafficking of indigenes of the state, noting that proceeds from such property would be ploughed into rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.
He explained that convicting perpetrators and liquidating their assets would serve as a deterrent to others, who are still scouting for vulnerable Edo youths and Nigerians to traffic.
Obaseki said delays in prosecution had hindered the state in the past, adding that whereas the government had recruited competent prosecutors, judicial processes, long adjournments and handling of victims’ testimonies were delaying its move to get convictions.
“We have been able to intensify investigation and prosecution. But unfortunately, we have not been able to get any conviction. Not because the prosecutors are not doing their utmost best, but because of the very nature of our legal system.
“We are working with the high courts and NAPTIP to ensure that we get convictions. This can serve as a deterrent and punishment to the perpetrators, ensuring that they lose their property and assets with which we will now use in supporting the rehabilitation of victims.
He said the state government would work with the judiciary to reduce the long adjournments and the way victims’ evidences are treated.
The governor lamented that most of the victims were usually scared of revealing information on their traffickers because of threats, adding: “But we are taking measures to provide safe houses and cover for them until we secure prosecutions.”
He explained that in the last four years, the number of trafficked persons from the state had reduced with the rehabilitation and reintegration of over 6,500 returnees.
No comments yet