Serah Ekundayo Ezekiel v. A. G. Federation  12 NWLR (Pt. 1578) 1 at 20, paras. C-E, per Nweze, JSC:
“Permit me, however, to add that it is indeed very worrisome that the insatiable allure of filthy lucre could impel a woman to traffic in young girls (whom the trial court, aptly, described as “mothers of tomorrow”) knowing fully well that the end result would be the ultimate debasement of womanhood: how immoral! how disgusting!”
Notwithstanding that the Appellant was a first offender, Sanusi, JSC, in his contribution, was of the position that the Appellant deserved maximum sentences for the charges. According to him, “the mere offence of trafficking in persons and more so in young persons should not be taken lightly. It is worse than slavery which was thought as an abomination and abolished.” See page 26 of the report.
Human trafficking especially in young girls (for prostitution, forced labour, and other forms of dehumanising servitude and exploitation) has become a huge problem in Nigeria. Recently, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ekweremadu, decried the high rate of the crime in the country. The Federal Government through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has been fighting this menace (see recent reports). Even so, the situation has attracted foreign aid.
While poverty, among several other factors account for the increase in the level of this crime, Nweze, JSC believes that ‘despicable greed’ and inordinate craving for wealth inspired the Appellant in the instant case. In a seminal pronouncement, his Lordship, one of the finest Justices of the Supreme Court, stated (at page 21, paras. F-H):
“My lords, before I end this very short judgment in this appeal… permit me to avail the appellant, and all persons of her ilk, of one of those arcane insights I gained from my long and fruitful sojourn in the realm of the history of ideas. It is the profound wisdom ingrained in the aphorism which Social Ethicists left behind for an avaricious humanity, namely, amo habemo habendi crescit – the love of having increases with having. In other words, there would be no limit to the cravings for material things unless people rein in their unquenchable appetite for them. After all, they are notable only for their evanescence!”
I join the world in condemning this evil. Parents should be extremely watchful, careful and protective of their children.
Featured image credit: Tribune.