Industrial Court Convicts, Sentences Trafficker to Imprisonment

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NICN
National Industrial Court

The Presiding Judge, Benin Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Adunola Adewemimo has convicted and sentenced Joyce Amenze to one-year imprisonment and payment of N2m as fine on a 2-count charge bordering on Human Trafficking, punishable under Section 18(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015.

The Court sentenced Joyce to Six Months imprisonment and payment of N1m as fine on each count and the sentencing shall run concurrently in the Federal Correctional Facility.

Justice Adewemimo stated that the offence committed by Joyce Amenze is the highest form of abuse and degradation of gender and such practice needs to be discouraged to serve as a warning to others.

From facts, the defendant- Joyce Amenze was charged with a six-count criminal charge for the recruitment of Adults for prostitution in South Africa and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 16(1) of the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015 among others.

Mrs Joyce Amenze was arraigned before the court on the 24th February 2022 by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Charge was read to her in the open court to her understanding, upon which she pleaded not guilty.

During the trial, the complainant- the Federal Republic of Nigeria tendered several documents and items which were admitted and marked as Exhibits and also called four witnesses and were duly cross-examined.

On the 23rd of June, 2022, the learned counsel for the defendant informed the court of the decision of Joyce Amenze to enter into a plea bargain in view of the video and additional evidence filed against the defendant.

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On 15th of July, 2022, she indicated her intention to plead guilty to two of the Counts, as confirmed by the FG’s counsel and other counts were accordingly struck out and the case was adjourned for Judgment.

Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Adunola Adewemimo held that Joyce Amenze admitted the facts in the charge; and commended the prosecution for a thorough and methodical investigation.

The Court stated that Joyce Amenze has shown herself to be a major player in the crime of human trafficking and there is no gainsaying in view of the irrefutable evidence adduced by the complainant and her admission of guilt.

Justice Adewemimo held that a person cannot be discharged for committing an offence as long as there is an existing law covering the offence he committed; found the defendant guilty as charged and convicted her on counts 1 and 2, punishable under Section 18(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015.

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