By Bruce Asemota
One Jenifer Ozuem, a Nigerian, was yesterday sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for engaging in trafficking in person. The convict also got another 15 years for importation of persons into the Gambia for prostitution. She is also to pay a fine of D50,000 on both counts.
In passing his sentence presiding judge Ebrima Jaiteh disclosed that the convict being found guilty of engaging in trafficking and importation of persons into The Gambia for exploitation into prostitution is despicable, cruel and inhumane.
He said the convict cannot hide behind Covid- 19 pandemic circumstances as a justification to recruit, transport and import a vulnerable young girl with intent to force her into prostitution.
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh asserted that recruitment, transportation and importation of trafficking in persons with intent to force women and girls into prostitution is becoming rampant in the society and is deeply troubling with the potential to creating a societal moral bankruptcy, cultural defoliation and decadence in society.
He pointed out that he is minded to temper justice with mercy as he would have imposed the severest punishment of life imprisonment on the accused.
The trial judge said he observed that the convict had been remorseful of her disgraceful act and being a first-time offender as she has been repentant and therefore will not impose the statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The trial judge ordered that the sentences shall run concurrently, noting that the date of the imprisonment shall commence from the date the convict was first taking into custody.