ELIZABETH INABA Love, a 41-year old Nigerian has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in hard labour by a Takoradi Circuit Court for attempting to traffic seven young women from Nigeria to Ivory Coast for prostitution.The court charged the convict with seven counts and sentenced her to ten years on each count to run concurrently.
Love pleaded guilty to the charges and was handed the sentence by the court presided over by Kwesi Boakye.
The court also ordered that the convict should be repatriated to her home country after she had served her jail term and also pay a fine of GH¢200 or its Naira equivalent for each of the seven victims.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Alice Parker-Wilson told the court that the complainant was a Nigerian Evangelist and a member of the Nigerian Diaspora Organization in Ivory Coast.
She noted that on September 30, 2012, Love recruited seven young women between the ages of 20 and 25 years specifically from Delta State in Nigeria to Ivory Coast for prostitution.
The prosecutor further stated that on October 7, 2012, the convict and the young women arrived at Elubo in the Western region in a Ford vehicle from Aflao in the Volta Region.
Due to the closure of the Ghana-Ivory Coast border, Love and the seven victims became stranded and in an attempt to cross the border through an unapproved route, the complainant intercepted them.
The prosecutor continued that during interactions between Love and the complainant, the Nigerian Evangelist identified Love as the one whom about three years ago, trafficked some 15 young women and was wanted by the Nigerian Diaspora Organization in Ivory Coast.
The evangelist then reported the matter to the police and Love was arrested.
Investigations by police revealed that the seven ladies were the third batch of young women Love had trafficked to Ivory Coast within this year.
Love admitted the offence but explained that she charged the victims a certain amount of money to find them hairdressing jobs in Ivory Coast and not prostitution.
Before passing judgment, the circuit court judge bemoaned the rate at which human trafficking was rising along the coast of West Africa.
He noted it was the duty of the court to protect young and innocent women from being lured into prostitution which put their future and lives in danger.
The judge also ordered the Western Regional Police Commander to liaise with the Nigerian High Commissioner to ensure the seven young women were sent back to Nigeria safely.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi