Court sentences three women to 12 years jail for child abduction, trafficking

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A Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Victoria John-Barile, Jennifer Osuji, and Ugochukwu Okere to 12 years imprisonment for their involvement in the conspiracy, abduction, and trafficking of a one-year-and-ten-months-old child.

However, the court acquitted Emmanuel Onyebuchi of all charges related to the conspiracy, abduction, and trafficking of the same child.

In her judgment, Chief Magistrate Rita Oguguo emphasized that the prosecution successfully demonstrated that the convicted individuals conspired on April 14, 2020, in Umuojiohi community, Afara Clan, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, to abduct and traffic the child named Precious Irechukwu.

Oguguo further asserted that the prosecution provided compelling evidence that John-Barile, Osuji, and Okere conspired to sell the child to two ladies identified as, Chinyere and Chioma for the sum of N500,000.

The Magistrate ordered the state Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, to initiate a search for Osuji to commence her sentence.

The sentenced individuals are to serve their terms concurrently, starting from the day of their remand in prison.

Oguguo also referred Chief B.O. Egbuawa, counsel to the second defendant in the case, to the Legal Practitioner Disciplinary Council for investigation and potential disciplinary action.

This action was taken due to Egbuawa’s role in securing bail for Osuji from a High Court after failing in all attempts at the Magistrate Court, resulting in her subsequent non-attendance at trial.

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