A Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced a young lady identified as Blessing Stephen to 10 years imprisonment for “conspiracy and child trafficking”.
Stephen, who is the second defendant in the matter, was charged alongside one Abigail Monday – first defendant and mother of the victim for conspiring and selling the one-year-old baby identified as Blessing Monday for N200,000.
But the court ruled that Abigail Monday must report herself to court three times a week to sweep and dust the furniture in the courtroom for one year as her punishment, having shown remorse throughout the trial of the matter and having been deceived to sell her own child.
The Presiding Magistrate, Felicitas Amanze, in her judgment described the second defendant as unrepentant and a hardened liar.
The magistrate ruled that the prosecution was able to prove that Stephen actually deceived the first defendant to sell the baby, gave her N200,000 and never gave her the balance till date.
The Chief Magistrate said the three years in count 1 and the seven years in count 2 must run concurrently.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen outside the courtroom, the Head Legal Officer of the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, in Rivers State, Esther Achor Korienta, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to those who engage in child trafficking.
Recall that a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had reserved judgement on the murder case of late Esther Edomobi, who was allegedly murdered at her residence in Cocaine Village, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, by her security guard in collaboration with three others.
Late Esther Edomobi was said to have been murdered by the 1st Defendant Zakariah Dauda employed as a guard in her home, who conspired with Inah-Inah Edet, Sunday Pius and Isaac Marcus, 2nd to 4th Defendants to kill the deceased on 24 May, 2008.
The 1st Defendant Zakariah Dauda was intercepted by police officers at Oyigbo checkpoint, why fleeing to his home town with the deceased Toyota Avanza car and lots of properties, is charged alongside his accomplice for conspiracy and murder.