Tony John, Port Harcourt
A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has sentenced a 47-year-old woman, Lois Chikanele Obasi, to 10 years imprisonment for child trafficking.
The convict, when arrested at a hotel on Stadium Road, Elekahia in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, in 2018, had claimed she had given birth to three children on two different days at a maternity home in Igwuruta with the sum of N900,000.
The trail Chief Magistrate, Felicitas Amanze, in her judgement, sentenced the woman to three years in count one and seven years in count two of the charges. She said the terms should run concurrently.
Amanzie held that evidence before the court proved that Obasi bought the three babies which she had claimed were her biological children.
The Chief Magistrate said it was impossible for Obazi to have come from abroad to deliver her triplets in Nigeria and to nurse them in a hotel as she claimed.
The Magistrate noted that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defence counsel, Chris Nwadigo, however, said the judgement would be appealed.
The former chairperson of the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Anthonia Osademe, who spoke to journalists on behalf of the group, as part of prosecution team, lauded the judgement.
She added that it would serve as a deterrent to other women involved in child trafficking.