A Magistrates’ Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has sentenced 20-year-old Miss Joy Olaka Worgu to four years in prison for trafficking twin babies.
Worgu was said to have stolen the babies from their parents and trafficked them in 2018.
The convict was sentenced on Thursday after she was found guilty on three counts bordering on human trafficking, among others.
However, the sentence is to run concurrently as Worgu has been in prison custody since 2018.
She initially pleaded not guilty but later changed her plea and admitted to committing the crime in connivance with a second defendant.
The Chief Magistrate, Amaka Amaenze, noted that the sentence would deter her from committing such a crime in the future.
The magistrate adjourned the matter to March 2, 2021 to hear the evidence of the second defendant who has denied buying the twins from Worgu.
Meanwhile, counsel for Worgu, Paul Ephraim, accepted the court’s verdict but did not rule out that the defence would appeal the judgment.
“My client was convicted of the said offence and she pleaded guilty. The court has decided; everything depends on my client. There was a degree of remorse. She was also repentant. The court is mindful of that,” he said.
Counsel for the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Esther Korienta, told journalists that the verdict of the court would serve as a deterrent to people engaging in human trafficking.
“I’m so satisfied with the court’s judgement because the lady is now remorseful. The court always wears a human face. She has shown remorse and the sentencing today is four years. We hope and believe that this will serve as a deterrent to other child traffickers.
“As you know, cases of child trafficking are on the increase and we are just looking for a way to reduce it, stop people from stealing other peoples’ children. If people want children, they can adopt legally. They should not be abetting it,” she said.