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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Four remanded for alleged human trafficking

The suspects are alleged to be commercial sex workersThe suspects are alleged to be commercial sex workers

Three Commercial sex workers all said to be Nigerian nationals have been arraigned and charged for human trafficking.

The three – Joy Gimbia Cataima, Juliet Jeoma Chigere Nnaj and Happiness Augustine Williams have pleaded not guilty to two charges of conspiracy and human trafficking.

A painter, Collins Nana Yaw Oppong Bempong was also charged for abetment but denied the charge.

The Circuit Court in Accra presided over by Her Honour Mrs. Afia Owusuaa Appiah has remanded them into lawful custody.

This was after their request for bail through their lawyers was opposed by the Prosecution led by Chief Inspector Amoah Richard and same refused by the court.

The Prosecution was subsequently directed to file their disclosures and witness statement within time whilst the case has been adjourned to October 18.

Brief facts

The Prosecutor, Chief Inspector Amoah Richard told the court that, the complainant is Rev. Jonathan Kwasi Attuah, the Head Pastor of Baptist church, Tesano, Accra.

Whilst accused, Joy Gimbia Cataima,(A1), Juliet Jeoma Chigere Nnaj,(A2), and Happiness Augustine Willams, (A3), are Nigerian commercial Sex workers living in Lapaz-Alhaji.

The Prosecutor said, Collins Nana Yaw Oppong Bempong,(A4), is a Painter and lives in Lapaz, Alhaji with his fiancée (A2).

Chief Inspector Richard said, on September 1, 2022, the first three accused conspired to lure young girls from Nigeria to the streets of Accra to enslave them into prostitution and take proceeds from their unlawful enterprise under the pretext of a secured sales girl job in A1 and A2 shop in Accra.

According to the Prosecutor, the first accused paid the sum of N240,000.00 equivalent to GH¢5,732.00 to the 3rd Accused who misrepresented before a 19-year-old girl, Favour Ekubanse Asim and Peace in River State in Nigeria to have had a sales job work by selling weave-on and cream in 1st and 2nd accused shop in Accra.


He said the 3rd accused subsequently trafficked and transported the said teenagers from Nigeria to Accra on September 2, 2022.

Prostitution

Chief Inspector Richard told the court that, the 1st accused took custody of Favour Ekubanse Asim whilst 2nd took custody of Peace at their residence in Lapaz, Alhaji for a fee of GH$1,200.00 paid by 2nd accused to 1st Accused.

The Prosecutor said, 1st and 2nd Accused informed the said victims that they would not engage them in the sale of weave-on and cream as promised by 3rd Accused, rather they will engage in prostitution.

The 4th Accused, the Prosecutor said, subsequently threatened and initiated the two victims to swear an oath to pay the sum of GHc2,000.00 each to 1st and 2nd accused before they would be set free.

The Prosecutor said, on September 3, at about 4:30 am, Favour Ekubanse Asim escaped from 1st accused’s custody and whilst walking barefooted on the streets of Lapaz, she met members of Baptist Church on evangelism mission and the said victim informed the evangelism members of her predicament.

He said, the church has since taken her in into their custody and consequently petitioned the Bureau for action.

“On 23/09/22 at about 12:00 pm A1, A2 and A4 were arrested in Lapaz, Alhaji. On 27/09/22, Happiness was arrested at Lapaz. During interrogation, the accused persons admitted the offence.

The 2nd Accused according to the prosecutor, claimed she has transported Peace back to Nigeria for expressing her opposition.

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