A housewife in Lagos will spend some years in prison after she was convicted by a court of law.

Nonye Ukatu has been sentenced to 13 years in jail by a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja for trafficking two girls under 12 years old and using them for forced labour.

The presiding judge, Justice Kudy Jose, delivered the judgement on Friday.

Nonye Ukatu was arrested by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in 2015, following a tip-off from some neighbours who were concerned about the sufferings of the girls.

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Following her arraignment on a six count charge of harbouring two girls and using them for forced labour, domestic work and treating them as slaves on December 21, 2015, NAPTIP Head, Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole said the offences contravened Sections 22a, 23 (1a) and 25 (a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

“When the defendant was arraigned in early 2016, she pleaded not guilty to all the counts. Trial however commenced on July 4, 2016. Delivering his judgment last week, Justice Jose convicted Ukatu on all the charges and sentenced her to 13 years’ imprisonment. On counts 1 and 2, she was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment; counts 3 and 4, one year’s imprisonment; and counts 5 and 6, seven years’ imprisonment. The sentences are to run concurrently,” he said.

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