*As Court Sentence Mother of Four to 15yrs Imprisonment
By: Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
A notorious human trafficker, Vivian Ehioze, her brother, Pastor Endurance Ehioze, of Heavenly Ambassadors Ministries Inc, both specialises in trafficking of young girls from Benin City to Russia for Prostitution have been arrested by men of the Nigeria Police Force, Edo State Command.
Endurance who is based in Benin is said to use the Church as a fertile ground to lure young girls in search of greener pastures into prostitution with the collaboration of the sister in Russia.
Their arrest was made possible based on a tip-off by an Edo based Non-Governmental Organization, Initiative for Youths Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development &Re-integration, IYAMIDR, which deals with issues of illegal trafficking.
One of the trafficked victim, Miss Florence Abu, (24) who was recently reunited with her family is currently seeking urgent assistant from spirited individual and government said after paying her ‘madam’ a whooping sum of $45, 000, to her madam did not only dumped her in the street of Russia but is also battling a mysterious ailment.
Florence, a hair stylist and a dancer, was 18 years old when she was trafficked in 2013, narrated how she was lured into prostitution by her Pastor who facilitated the plans to be trafficked.
She narrated “It all started in 2012 when a member of my church at Isihor, a P called me that he wants to see me in church, so I went. He asked me if I will like to travel out and I told him yes but that I don’t have money and assured me that the money wasn’t a problem”
“He said his sister based in Russia will take me abroad. And I agreed. He said in less than two months I will be able to pay up the money my madam will spend and that since am a hair stylist and singer I will make it. Later I was introduced to the sister abroad who called me, her name is Vivian Ehioze she lived in Russia. I had to borrow money to do my passport. She keeps calling and assuring me that all will be well. I was made to take oath of allegiance”
“As part of oath of allegiance they took hair from my pubic, nails which they kept and said whenever I finished payment I would be free from any evil attack”
She disclosed that she was molested by her madam throughout the period she was in Russia and advised young girls to shown offers to travel abroad in the name of better life adding that most of the girls are languishing in Russia without any hope”
President, Initiative for Youths Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development & Re-integration, IYAMIDR, said the group which had been in the forefront of creating awareness in discouraging youths from the danger of illegal migration commended the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, for his prompt response in apprehending the traffickers.
Meanwhile, a Benin High court, presided over by Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga, yesterday, sentenced one Mrs Regina Osarieme, a mother of four children, to 15 years imprisonment for human trafficking.
The suspect was arraigned on a three count charge of Exportation out of Nigeria for prostitution, procurement for gratification and Procurement for unlawful carnal knowledge in suit number B/7C/14.
These offences are contrary to the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003 (as amended).
The trafficker was alleged to have recruited a 16-year-old girl, who is in SS 2 at Okha secondary school, Benin city and promised to take her to Russia.
Before embarking on the journey, the victim was requested to pay a registration fee of N 50,000 and two Hollandis wrapper to the accused.
The accused who pleaded not guilty to the charges hails from Ewega village in Orhionwon Local Government Area of Edo state. She was said to have recruited the girl through an agent called Anthony.
According to a statement by the NAPTIP zonal Commander, Nduka Nwanwnene, “as soon as the victim was recruited, she was taken to a popular motor transporter in Benin, where she boarded a vehicle to Lagos and from there to Cotonou and then Mali.
Reacting to the conviction, the Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli declared that there would be no hiding place for any trafficker. She added that the Agency is fully poised to cleanse the society of all traces of human trafficking by ensuring that offenders are adequately punished to serve as deterrent to others.