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City of Banjul
Friday, April 19, 2024
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Nigerian woman jailed 15 years for human trafficking

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By Amadou Jadama

Principal Magistrate Anna Mendy on Thursday convicted and sentenced one Obanla Damilola Beatrice, a Nigerian, to a mandatory jail term of 15 years for trafficking two women from Nigeria to The Gambia for prostitution.

She was also fined D50,000 and in default of payment will serve an additional two years in prison. She was further ordered to compensate the two victims D250,000 each or serve another two years in prison.

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Ms Beatrice is to serve her jail term at Mile 2 Central Prison in Banjul and all the sentences are to run consecutively.

Curiously, this trial was held at Essau Magistrate’s Court but the judgement was delivered in Brikama owing to “the deplorable condition” of the ferries, Magistrate Mendy lamented.

“Consequently, I requested a fiat from the chief justice for me to personally deliver the matter and also for it to be delivered in Brikama due to the poor ferry crossing system, and it was granted by the chief justice, ” she explained.

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Ms Beatrice was found guilty on a single count of trafficking in persons. She denied the charges throughout the trial.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the court ruled that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the accused person. However, the accused testified alone in her defence. She called a witness who was not available for cross-examination and his testimony was struck out by the court. At the close of defence, both parties waved their right to address the court.

In delivering her judgement, Magistrate Mendy said “curbing the offence of trafficking in persons needs concerted efforts by all and sundry”.

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