A magistrates’ court sitting in Port Harcourt on Thursday convicted a 47-year-old woman, Lois Obazi, of child trafficking charges and sentenced her to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Obazi had in 2018 adopted a pseudo name, Precious Obasi, around Omehia School Road, Igwuruta community in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, following reports of her purchase of three children.
The suspect, before her arrest, had in a hotel on Stadium Road, Elekahia, in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, claimed that she gave birth to the three children on two different days in a maternity home at Igwuruta.
The Chief Magistrate, Felicitas Amanze, in her judgment, sentenced the woman to three years’ imprisonment on count one, and seven years’ imprisonment on count two of the charges preferred against her, adding that the terms would run concurrently.
Amanze held that evidence before the court proved that Obasi bought the three infants.
The chief magistrate noted that it was impossible for Obazi to have left overseas to return to Nigeria to deliver her triplets and also nurse them in a hotel as she claimed, stressing that the prosecution counsel proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.
Meanwhile, the defence counsel, Chris Nwadigo, said the judgement was full of emotion and sentiment, and vowed to appeal it.
On her part, the immediate past Chairperson of the International Federation of Female Lawyers, Antonia Osademe, hailed the judgment, adding that it would serve as a deterrent to other women involved in trafficking of children.