Court Slams 10 Years Jail Term On Female Child Trafficker

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Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has sentenced a 47-year-old woman, Gertrude Thompson Akpan to 10 years in prison for buying a 6-year-old boy in Uyo and transferring him to Owerri in Imo State where she sold the victim to one Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna, a native of Bende in Abia State at the sum of N200,000.

Gertrude Akpan, a mother of three children from Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was sentenced today by Justice Okon Okon, without an option of fine.

The convict, who claimed to be a staff of Immanuel Hospital, Eket, where she said she retired as a Matron in 2015, confessed that she has been in the business of selling and buying of children since 2008.

Justice Okon in his judgment, said “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.”

The Court further held that the evidence of the prosecution is that one Ubong Charles Ekwere had on 12th May, 2018, abducted the six-year-old boy in the lawful custody of his grandmother and sold him to the convict, Gertrude Thompson Akpan at the sum of N50,000 and Gertrude in turn, sold the victim to Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna in Owerri at the sum of N200,000.

Justice Okon found Gertrude Thompson Akpan “guilty of unlawful removal and transfer of the child victim from Akwa Ibom State to Owerri, Imo State.

He said “it is sadistic that Getrude, 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.

Justice Okon held that such “evil trade must be deprecated, forestalled and checkmated by every right thinking member of the society.”

While sentencing Gertrude Akpan to 10 years without an option of fine, the Court held that “buying and selling of children is against social and moral values of the people of Akwa Ibom State.”