Ogun (Abeokuta)- A Federal High Court in Abeokuta, Ogun, on Thursday, sentenced a 67-year-old man and two sisters to five and seven years imprisonment respectively for using underage girls for prostitution.
The sisters, Ifeoma Umeh, 26 and Ogechi Umeh, 27, and Babatunde Folorusho were convicted for conspiracy and deceitful use of underage girls for prostitution.
The accused were charged with conspiracy, allowing underage to be in a brothel and trade in prostitution, deceitful inducement of persons and offering of underage girls for prostitution.
Folorunsho, the owner of Temiogbe Hotel, Akute, was convicted for keeping a brothel and was discharged for being involved in subjection of underage girls to prostitution.
In her judgment, Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo, said that all the accused would serve the jail term concurrently from the day of arrest.
Ogunbanjo said that the court had considered that the sisters were first offenders and had no antecedents of criminality in sentencing them.
The accused persons had pleaded guilty to all the charges levelled against them, while Folorunsho pleaded not guilty to conspiracy.
The counsel to the National Agency for the Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Kehinde Falade, expressed satisfaction with the judgment of the court.
“We are pleased with the judgment. The expression on the faces of the accused after the judgment was read shows that they are remorseful.
“The agency had won many cases and this won’t be an exception.
“The accused were too kind not to allow the court through a long process of trial,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Ogechi urged other traffickers to discontinue the unlawful business.
“My advice to others in this kind of business is to stop because the law will sooner or later catch up with such people.
“There is no one to take care of my parents and children while I am serving my jail term but as soon as am out of the prison, I will not engage in such again,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the case had be ongoing since Jan. 23, 2014.
NAN also learnt that case was reported to NAPTIP by an informant who disclosed that the said hotel engaged underage girls from the ages of 14 to 20 in prostitution.
The agency swung into action immediately by arresting the culprits.
It was also learnt that on arrest, two accused persons volunteered their statements under caution and admitted to committing the offence.
NAN also reports that the offence contravened section 12(a), 15(a), 15(c), 19(b), and 13(a) of Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 and punishable under the same act. (NAN)