By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
The Network of Civil society Against Human Trafficking (ANCAHT) on Monday demanded life imprisonment for human traffickers in the proposed Executive Bill against human trafficking in Edo state.
Jennifer Ero disclosed this when she led a cross session of Nigerians recently deported from Libya to the country to the Assembly Complex at the King Square yesterday in Benin City, the state capital. She said the rally was part of activities to mark the 2017 International Migrant Day in Edo state.
According to her, when the laws are very stringent, it will make extremely difficult for traffickers to circumvent the laws.
The returnees were clad with black T-shirt, bore placards with inscriptions such as “mothers, stop kneeling down to daughters to go and bring blood food for you”, stop human trafficking, it is evil”, chanted solidarity songs.
The Bill was accorded its first reading on Monday morning by Edo state House of Assembly.
She told the Speaker of Edo state house of Assembly that they had held a memorial service in honour of those who lost their lives through the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea en-route Europe as well as those who lost their lives at their final destination.
“We are asking that the maximum sentence for these traffickers should be life sentence.
Besides, any trafficker that is convicted, their property should be sold as a strut fund to support the victim.
“The local government and community leaders should adopt the traditional mediation system with a view to build capacity to respond to the needs of the people directly”, she said.
She said plea bargaining or option of fine for convicted human traffickers in the proposed laws should not be included in the law, while any trafficker that is convicted, their property should be sold as a strut fund to support the victim.
Responding, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto told the group that the proposed Bill against human trafficking before the Assembly has been given its first reading.
He said the Bill would be subjected to a public hearing where civil society and faith based organisations, traditional rulers would be allowed to make their input before it will be passed into law.
He assured the group that the state government was already responding to the plight of the deported Nigerians from Libya living in the state.
High point of the event was the laying of reefs to remember Migrants who died during their journey to Europe at the Museum ground in Benin City.