The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has taken legal action against Blessing Lucky and Joyce Okeke, also known as Mary Frank and Eva, for their alleged involvement in operating a foreign prostitution cartel. The arraignment took place before Justice Ayokunle Faji at the Federal High Court in Lagos. Let’s delve into the details of the charges and the upcoming trial as NAPTIP strives to combat human trafficking and protect victims.
Blessing Lucky and Joyce Okeke, accused of participating in a foreign prostitution cartel, have been arraigned by NAPTIP before Justice Ayokunle Faji at the Federal High Court in Lagos. The charges against them include conspiracy, promoting prostitution, and the purchase of human beings for the purpose of prostitution. The defendants allegedly worked under the direction of Mariam Adamu, also known as Blessing, who resides in Lagos.
According to the prosecutor, Mrs. Becky Jibo, the defendants committed the offenses in February of this year. They are accused of procuring and harboring Imasuen Chimuanya Delight, also known as Zara, facilitating her travel to Togo, and coercing her into prostitution. These actions are in violation of sections 1b, 15(b), 21, 18, and 27(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2016, which carry severe penalties.
During the arraignment, Blessing Lucky and Joyce Okeke pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them. Following their plea, the prosecutor requested that the court schedule a trial date and remand the defendants in prison until the case is resolved. The defense counsel, however, informed the court that they had filed bail applications on behalf of the defendants, which had been served on the prosecutor. The prosecutor confirmed receiving the applications and filed her counter-submission.
After considering the arguments from both sides, Justice Faji granted the defendants bail on varying terms and conditions. The court then adjourned the case to June 2, when the trial will commence. This marks an important step in holding the defendants accountable and ensuring a fair legal process in combating human trafficking and protecting the rights of victims.
The NAPTIP’s prosecution of Blessing Lucky and Joyce Okeke for their alleged involvement in a foreign prostitution cartel demonstrates the agency’s commitment to combating human trafficking. The charges brought against the defendants highlight the seriousness of their actions, including conspiracy, promoting prostitution, and the purchase of human beings for exploitation. The upcoming trial, scheduled for June 2, presents an opportunity to seek justice and hold accountable those engaged in such illicit activities. NAPTIP’s efforts remain focused on safeguarding the rights of victims and eradicating human trafficking from our society.