A woman, Blessing Stephen, who sold a 19-month-old child for N200,000, has been sentenced to 10-year imprisonment by a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Stephen was convinced for conspiracy and child trafficking by the Chief Magistrate, Felicitas Amanze, who describes her as unrepentant and hardened.
She was sentenced to three years on count one and seven years on count two. The sentences, according to the chief magistrate, will run consecutively.
The magistrate added that the prosecution proved she deceived the child’s mother, Abigail Monday, to sell her baby for N200,000, and gave her N20,000.
Stephen, the second defendant, was standing trial alongside Abigail Monday, mother of the child and second defendant, for conspiracy and child trafficking.
The court also directed that the child’s mother, Monday, report herself to the court three times a week to sweep and dust the furniture in the courtroom for one year.
Speaking to journalists outside the court, a legal officer representing the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Esther Okorienta, said the judgement would serve as a deterrent to child traffickers.
She said, “We are delighted with the judgement of the court. We also noted with dismay the arrogance of the second defendant. She was not even remorseful after the judgement. We are happy that she was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. The rate of child trafficking in the country is alarming.”
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