Mother of three bags 10 years jail term for child trafficking in Akwa Ibom

  An Akwa Ibom State High Court has sentenced a 47-year-old woman, Gertrude Thompson Akpan to 10 years in prison for child trafficking witho...

 

An Akwa Ibom State High Court has sentenced a 47-year-old woman, Gertrude Thompson Akpan to 10 years in prison for child trafficking without an option of fine.

The convict was said to have bought a 6-year-old boy in Uyo and transferred 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.

Mrs Akpan, a mother of three children from Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State claimed to be a staff of Immanuel Hospital, Eket, where she said she retired as a Matron in 2015.

She also confessed that she has been in the business of selling and buying children since 2008.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Okon Okon 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 Gertrude, a mother of children, indulged in selling the 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. Buying and selling of children is against social and moral values of the people of Akwa Ibom State.”

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