NAPTIP Drags Enugu Resident to Court for Sexual Exploitation of Minor

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has dragged before a court, an Enugu resident accused of sexually exploiting a minor over a 4-year period.

The suspect, Nnaike Obiora Charles, was brought before the Federal High Court in Enugu, presided over by Honourable Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo, to face charges related to the exploitation of a 14-year-old girl.

Charles, upon arraignment, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges outlined in Charge No. FHC/EN/CR/3/2024.

Subsequently, his defense counsel, Gozie Iwuala Esq., moved for bail, which was not opposed by Sam Offiah Esq., representing NAPTIP.

Notably, Charles had been on administrative bail prior to his formal arraignment.

The court, in its ruling, granted bail to Charles in the sum of N2 million, requiring two sureties, one of whom must be a landowner within the jurisdiction, while the other must be a blood relative providing evidence of three years’ tax clearance.

Charles was then remanded at the Correctional Center in Enugu pending fulfilment of his bail conditions.

The case was adjourned to July 16 and 17, 2024, for trial, signalling judiciary’s commitment to addressing such grave offences.

In response to the proceedings, human rights lawyer, Olu Omotayo, representing the victim’s family, raised concerns regarding the charges brought forth by NAPTIP.

Omotayo questioned the disparity between the alleged crimes and the charges filed, suggesting that the severity of the exploitation warranted more serious charges.

He emphasized victim’s prolonged suffering, highlighting her consistent abuse since 2019 while employed as a maid in Charles’ household.

Omotayo expressed regrets over what he perceived as lack of adequate state intervention to ensure justice for the victim.

Omotayo’s advocacy extended to commendation for the intervention of Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, acknowledging the significance of holding offenders accountable and ensuring protection of vulnerable individuals.