A HIGH Court sitting in Akwa Ibom State, Uyo, on Monday, sentenced a 47-year-old woman, Gertrude Thompson Akpan to 10 years imprisonment for buying a six-year-old boy in Uyo and transferring him to Owerri, Imo State for purchase.
Akpan, a mother of three from Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was sentenced by Justice Okon Okon, without an option of fine.
The victim was said to have been sold to one Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna, a native of Bende in Abia State for N200,000.
The convict, who claimed to be a worker of Immanuel Hospital, Eket, where she said she retired as a Matron in 2015, confessed that she has 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 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 12th May 2018, abducted the six-year-old boy in the lawful custody of his grandmother and sold him to the convict, Gertrude Thompson Akpan at N50,000 and Gertrude in turn, sold the victim to Kate Ojukwu Ogbonna in Owerri at N200,000.
Okon found Gertrude Thompson Akpan guilty of unlawful removal and transfer of the child victim from Akwa Ibom State to Owerri, Imo State.
He said: “It is sad that Getrude, a mother of three, indulged in selling children, thereby depriving the innocent children of the natural love, care and upbringing by their parents.
Okon held that such ‘evil trade must be deprecated, forestalled and checkmated by every right-thinking member of the society.’
While sentencing Gertrude Akpan to 10 years 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.’