A 47-year-old woman in Akwa Ibom State has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for buying a six-year-old boy in Uyo, the state capital.
The convict, Gertrude Thompson Akpan, was said to have transferred the boy after buying him, to Owerri in Imo State where she sold him to one Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna, a native of Bende in Abia State for N200,000.
Justice Okon Okon of an Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo sentenced Gertrude Akpan, a mother of three children from Ikot Eyo village, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of the state, without an option of fine yesterday.
The convict, who retired in 2015 as a Matron at the Immanuel Hospital in Eket, confessed that she had been in the business of selling and buying children since 2008.
Justice Okon in his judgment, said: “apart from the confession of the convict, the evidence of the prosecution witness that she assisted the police in the recovery of the child victim from the buyer in Owerri, remained unchallenged and therefore accepted.”
The court further held that the evidence of the prosecution is that one Ubong Charles Ekwere had on May 12, 2018, abducted the six-year-old boy in the lawful custody of his grandmother and sold him to the convict, Gertrude Thompson Akpan, at the sum of N50,000, and Akpan in turn, sold the victim to Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna in Owerri at the sum of N200,000.
Justice Okon found Akpan “guilty of unlawful removal and transfer of the child victim from Akwa Ibom State to Owerri, Imo State.
“It is sadistic that Akpan, a mother of children, indulged in sales of children of others, thereby depriving the innocent children of the natural love, care and upbringing by their parents.”
According to Justice Okon, “The evil trade must be deprecated, forestalled and checkmated by every right-thinking member of the society.”
While sentencing Akpan to 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine, the court held that “buying and selling of children is against social and moral values of the people of Akwa Ibom State.”