Alleged human trafficking: I only accommodated victim, UK based witness tells Court

Mrs. Florence Obadiaru, the nominal complainant, in a suit filed by the Nigeria Police Force against an alleged UK-destination human trafficker, Benedicta Omomoh has given part of her evidence before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Mrs Florence Obadiaru told the Federal High Court Abuja, that she was lured into accommodating one Cynthia Ese, an alleged victim of human trafficking for 17 days. She claimed that the defendant, Mrs Benedicta Omomoh, her childhood friend called her and appealed to her to accommodate Ese who was in London for studies.

The witness flew into Nigeria specifically to testify in the alleged criminal charge bordering on human trafficking filed by the Nigeria Police Force against Omomoh. The defendant alongside one Mrs. Oyomiye Lamidi who is on the run are being prosecuted for allegedly conspiring in 2011 to traffic Miss Ese to the UK for sexual exploitation, an offence punishable under Section 27 of the trafficking in persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement Amendment Act, 2015. She said she was made to believe that the trafficked victim was to further her studies in the United Kingdom.

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While being led in evidence by the prosecution the witness told the court that the defendant also made a promise to transfer some money into the victim’s account for her upkeep during their period. She, however, told the court that immediately the money was paid into her account she handed over to the trafficked victim, who left her house for an unknown destination.

“The defendant is my childhood friend, she called me from Nigeria and pleaded with pleaded with to accommodate Cynthia Ese (the victim) for a period of seven days. “This is was with the understanding that she will transfer an undisclosed amount of money to my account to give her to secure accommodation. “I gave the money to Cynthia after it came 17 days later and I dropped her at the train station where Olayinka came to meet her and I didn’t see her again after that day.”

The trial Judge, Inyang Ekwo adjourned the case to Dec. 11 for continuation of trial. Meanwhile, Obadiaru’s lawyer, Mr Wisdom Madaki expressed displeasure over the ordeal faced by his client in the UK in relation to the matter.

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