The Gender Division of the Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a 35-year-old Kate Igugu Agbarha Otor, a Nigerian national to five years imprisonment for attempting Human Trafficking.
The accused person who appeared in court for the first time on the eve of Easter pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted on her own plea.
Before handing down her jail term, the court presided over by Her Honour Christiana Cann explained to the accused person that, per section 18 of the Criminal and other Offences Act, Act 29, an attempt to commit a crime is just as having committed the actual offense. To this end, the convict must serve her jail term of five years
The Court said it took into consideration the fact that the convict did not waste the time of the court and also her plea for mitigation before sentencing the convict.
The court said this punishment is to serve as a deterrent to others who have it in mind of undertaking such an unlawful exercise.
She advised the victims to go back to their country and work and not to stay in Ghana to indulge in prostitution.
The court also ordered that the convict be returned to Nigeria after she had served her jail term.
It was the case of prosecution led by Detective Chief Inspector Kofi Atimbire that, human trafficking is becoming rampant in the country and the accused person needs to be punished to serve as a deterrent to others.
After pleading guilty to the charges of criminal offenses leveled against her, the convict burst into tears, knelt down in the docket while pleading for mercy.
In the midst of the uncontrollable tears, the convict could not help herself out and immediately requested water of which she was served.
Lawyer Joseph Torku, acting as a friend to the court, after listening to the accused observed that, the accused does not have a full understanding of the charges leveled against her.
He prayed to the court to make her understand what she had pleaded guilty to, but the trial judge disagreed and said the accused understands everything read to her.
Detective Chief Inspt. Atimbiri in a brief fact to the court said, the victims Blessing Obuketa and Joy Atakerameri are 41 and 30 of ages respectively and both are Nigerians.
The prosecutor said, the accused Kate Igugu Agbarha Otor is also a Nigerian who is unemployed and a residence at Kotobabi No.2 Baatsona.
According to the Prosecutor, about two weeks ago, the accused contacted a friend in Nigeria and recruited the victims with the deceit that she had secured a restaurant job for the victims in Ghana.
Chief Inspt. Atimbiri said, upon such false representation, the accused sent an amount of GHc2,000 for them for transportation and other expenses to Ghana without the Covid-19 restrictions order imposed by the President.
On March 25, the victims arrived in Ghana and were received by the accused who provided accommodation for them at Kotobaabi.
47 pieces of condoms
The Prosecutor said, the accused gave the victims condoms and coerced them to practice commercial sex work with the purpose of exploiting them but the victims refused on grounds that they arrived in Ghana to work in a restaurant, not in prostitution.
He said on March 29, the victims made a report to the police and the accused was arrested. During the police investigation, he said 47 pieces of condoms were retrieved from the accused room.
In her investigation caution statements, the prosecutor said, the accused admitted the offense and was arraigned.