Law On 7yrs Jail Term For Human Traffickers Underway, As FEC Sends Bill To NASS

January 16 19:09 2013 Print This Article

Child trafficking

…Blacklist Contractor for Collapsed Navy Building, Punish Others

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan has approved a draft bill on Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration, 2012, to be forwarded to the National Assembly for passage into law.

The bill presented by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Awoke, prescribes five to seven years jail term for both the traffickers and their collaborators as well as other sundry fines.

Adoke, tabled a memorandum before the Council to seek approval for the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration Bill, 2012.

Addressing journalists the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku said, the existing legal framework for addressing the subject matter which is the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003 (as amended), is fraught with deficiencies and grossly inadequate to effectively combat the scourge of human trafficking in Nigeria.

“Several provisions in the existing law are not consistent with the requirements of the Trafficking in persons Protocol, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, (Palermo Convention) 2000.

“The principal objective of the current Bill is to repeal and cure the defects in the existing law and reposition the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons for effective delivery on its mandate and provide for a more comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking offences in Nigeria.

“After deliberations, and in order to cure the effects in existing law, council approved the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration Bill, 2012 for transmission to the National Assembly for passage into law”.

Similarly, to serve as a detterant to fake engineers and contractors who do shoddy jobs, the Council has approved the blacklisting of E.C. Oba Industrial Company Limited, the contractor that handled the collapsed Navy building in Gwarimpa, Abuja in January 2012. The company is not to handling any building contract be it federal, state or individual while the fake engineers that were hired by the Navy to demolish the faulty building are to be prosecuted by COREN.

Also, the Officer in the Navy who supervised the collapsed building will be disciplined according to Navy and public service rules. Similar sanctions will be metted out for the Ministry of Lands and Urban development officials involved.

According to the Chairman of the Presidential Committee, the Minister of Lands and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, said the technical officers who designed and supervised the building were found guilty, the company hired to demolish it was incompetent.

“After deliberations, and in order to cure the effects in existing law, council approved the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration Bill, 2012 for transmission to the National Assembly for passage into law”

Pepple in a memo brought to appraise council of the Revised report of the cabinet committee to investigate the collapsed Nigerian Navy Building  to seek council’s consideration and approval of its recommendations for the implementation.

President Jonathan had in July last year ordered that those who supervised the construction and demolition of the two-storey building belonging should be sanctioned.

It would be recalled that the  building located on 45 Road, Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja, which belonged to the Nigerian Navy collapsed in January killing two people and trapping three others when it was being demolished.

President Jonathan had also directed that henceforth supervision of all public buildings must be done by the Department of Public Building either in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), or in the Federal Ministry of Housing to ensure quality.

A committee was set up within the Council to investigate the incident. The report revealed that the poor construction of the building led to severe stress which necessitated the decision to demolish it.

The members of the council had ordered that those responsible for the supervision of the building should be identified while the committee should recommend appropriate sanctions to be  applied on those found culpable in the discharge of their official responsibilities.

Maku said Council also approved the ratification of World Trade Organisation (WTO) amended protocol on intellctual propeety rights that will allow countries like Nigeria to locally produce drugs, in times of emergency, patented by big companies.

Council also commended the increase in capacity of the military as “the armed forces are doing much better”.

According to the Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, “By looking inwards, the forces have developed unmanned aircraft (amebo) armoured personnel carrier etc. New helicopter training school in Enugu and Internal security operations and the Council noted the appreciable results attained in conjunction with other security and intelligence forces. Drastic reduction in oil bunkering. Remarkable success in tackling local insurgency and outstanding performance in international peace keeping operations.

Minister of Education, Professor Ruqqayyat Rufa’i,  said her ministry presented it’s perforomance in 2012to Council. She disclosed that intervention to promote girl child education; almajiri education; and intensifying teacher education at all levels were achieved. “We need more private partnership and the states as education is capital intensive”.

Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, briefed Council on the African Cup of Nations beginning this week and the Super Eagles participation. At the end of which the Council member prayed for the successful outing of the Eagles. He said President Jonathan urged the eagles “to improve on our record of having won it twice”.

Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke, denied alarming report in the papers alluding that the sum of N300 billion have been appropriated by the Federal Government to the hospitality and leisure sector.

“This administration has been transparent and with the freedom of information act, sadly nobody made attempt to verify this report. It is absolutely incorrect, it never existed”.

Also speaking on the same vein, the Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama said, “we never said anything about N300 billion appropriated for hospitality and leisure sector. Its a private sector industry and appropriation is done by National Assembly not the Ministry of Finance. Government has no intervention plan for the hospitality sector. Anything close to it is the N30 billion ($200m) for the entertainment industry and that one is a loan from India Nexim bank. The whole story is false and well reasoning Nigerians should disregard it”.


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