Obaseki lauds 9-year jail term for human trafficker, backs special court for offence


The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has hailed the judgement of Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court in Benin City, who on Tuesday, sentenced Mrs Christy Ehiorobo to nine years imprisonment for engaging in human trafficking.

Obaseki said the judgement is a triumph of good over evil and assured that other traffickers will have their days in court soon.

The governor said: “I commend the courage of the High Court Judge for serving Mrs. Christy Ehiorobo, a 9-year jail term for engaging in human trafficking.  The judgement has given further bite to our resolve to rid Edo State of human traffickers who are exploiting our youth.”

He noted that “With the support we are receiving from critical stakeholders such as the judiciary, the Royal Palace of the Benin Monarch and the legislature, in the fight against human trafficking, I am convinced that we will win the fight.”

Obaseki further said that he has thrown his weight behind the decision of the Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen to dedicate two specialised courts to hear human trafficking cases.

“I have thrown my weight behind the decision of the Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen to designate two courts to hear human trafficking offences in order to give accelerated hearing to such cases. The decision of the chief judge is innovative as it will fast-track the dispensation of justice in human trafficking and related cases,” he added.

According to media reports, a Federal High Court, sitting in Benin, on Tuesday, sentenced a 49-year-old woman, Mrs Christy Ehirobo, to nine years imprisonment for human trafficking.

Justice Mohammed Liman, in his judgment, held that human trafficking had eaten deep into the fabric of society, adding that despite the plea of mercy by the convict, the law must take its cause.

“The accused is therefore sentenced to three years imprisonment on each of the three counts to run concurrently,” the judge was quoted as saying.

The convict, also known as Helen Ehirobo and Mama Jennifer, hails from Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo, State and had been standing trial since 2011.