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Supreme Court Upholds Conviction of Serah Ezekiel for Human Trafficking

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upheld the conviction of a human trafficker, Serah Ekundayo Ezekiel, who had earlier been sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for trafficking in persons. The judgment brings to an end the legal battle which started in 2011 in Ikeja, Lagos.

In a unanimous decision on Friday, the five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who sat on the matter upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division. In his lead Judgment, Justice C.C Nwaeze found no merit in the appeal and therefore, dismissed it.

Serah Ezekiel was dragged to the Federal High Court, Ikeja, Lagos on November 18, 2011 by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on behalf of the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation on an 18 Counts charge, all bothering on offences of trafficking in persons contrary to various sections of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 (as amended)

Ezekiel, who was 29 year old as at the time of committing the offence in July 2011 procured four females, aged 17, 19, 20 and 21 years from various parts of Lagos State and took them to Mali where they were used as prostitutes.

On arraignment, she pleaded guilty to all the counts and was subsequently found guilty, convicted on all the 18 counts and sentenced.

Aggrieved by her conviction and sentence, Serah Ezekiel approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division which affirmed the trial Court’s verdict. Still not satisfied, she approached the Apex Court which has dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.

Reacting to the Supreme Court judgment, Acting Director-General of NAPTIP, Mr. Abdulrazak Dangiri expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the appeal.

Nneka Aniagoh

For: Head, Press and Public Relations