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Court frees ASCSN President of human trafficking charges

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Maitama, Abuja, yesterday discharged and acquitted the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Mr. Innocent Bola-Audu and three others, of the allegation of human trafficking.

Justice Charles Agbaza cleared Bola-Audu and three others on the ground that the prosecution failed to link the defendants with the offence.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP) dragged the four civil servants before the court claiming that they were involved in human trafficking in 2021.

The workers included the Chief Accountant in Grade Level 14, Innocent Bola-Audu, and an Assistant Executive Officer on Grade Level 13, Cecilia Aneke.

The defendants pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on July 7, 2021, and were granted bail.

Through their counsel, they filed a motion for a “no-case” submission. After the parties argued their briefs of argument, the court adjourned for ruling.

Justice Agbaza, in his ruling, upheld the defendants’ argument.

The judge held: “The prosecution has not clearly been able to link the defendants with the charge brought against them. I find it difficult to come to terms with the prosecution on the charges and in his argument against the defendants.

“There is no evidence before this court linking the defendants with the offence. The prosecution failed to establish a case of human trafficking against the defendants.

“The defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted.”

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