Human Trafficking: Legal practitioner urges judges to speed up cases
A legal practitioner, Mr Joe Abaagu, has called on Nigerian judges to speed up human trafficking cases to ensure timely delivery of justice to victims.
Abaagu, also the Vice Chairman, Justice Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja said this when he spoke with newsmen on Thursday.
He said that delays experienced in human trafficking cases often made the victims give up.
According to Abaagu, human trafficking has become a lucrative criminal business, with the traffickers using all available means to frustrate court cases around the world.
He, however, said judges in the country needed to take advantage of the Administration of Criminal Justice System to speed up all criminal trials, including those involving trafficking in persons.
In his words, “I believe that if the judge who is handling a trial bears in mind the factor that the various parties are waiting for the outcome he will indeed speed up the trial.
“The judge will make sure the prosecutor does not delay in bringing his witnesses in order to prosecute the case and will ensure that the defence also does not waste the time of the court.
“The judge will ensure that there’s a maximum of adjournments that a party can take in criminal trials and would ensure that it is stopped.
“Some defence counsels with weak cases often indulge in tricks and such tricks include delays.”
Abaagu said judges needed to take control of the trial to ensure minimal delays and quicker dispensation of justice.
In his remarks, Mr Agaran Alao, Deputy Director, Intelligence and Public Enlightenment, NAPTIP, said the agency has since its inception in 2004 received 10,273 reports on human trafficking, while 18,535 victims were rescued.
He said that 8,348 suspected traffickers were arrested within the period under review and 530 successfully prosecuted.
He urged Nigerians to be on the alert as traffickers often disguise to cover their real intentions.
“Trafficking in persons has gone beyond sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, it has now been extended to organ harvesting and even killing of victims to have their organs sold,” he said.
He said that Traffickers in Persons (TiP) have adopted new tricks including the use of technology, hunting, fishing, surrogacy, and sports; especially football, orphanage and homes among others.