A Nigerian hairdresser who trafficked seven victims from Nigeria to Ghana to engage in prostitution has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
Promise Obianu Awayiaka compelled her victims to shave their pubic hair for ritual.
The said ritual was to intimidate the victims to comply with her demands and ensure that they do not escape.
Appearing before a Sogakope Circuit Court, Promise, 32, pleaded guilty to seven counts of human trafficking and she was convicted on her plea.
Promise was ordered by the court presided over by Mr Isaac Addo to pay GH₵10,000 to each of the victims as compensation. The court ordered the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to ensure that all the victims were taken through counselling and sent back to Nigeria.
The Trial Judge held that the pregnancy test conducted on the accused person proved negative.
The court noted that Promise had pleaded guilty to all the charges, adding that the accused person was a young woman, she had been in lawful custody for some time to enable her to undergo a pregnancy test.
It said, “looking at the seriousness of the offence committed, the number of victims involved, it ought to hand down a deterrent sentence to traffickers and “would be Traffickers.”
The court held that “the accused person ought to be kept away from society for a considerable period of time. This gruesome act is clearly a modern (form of) slavery, which must not be countenanced.”
Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Immigration Yussif Misbawu, who held the brief of Superintendent of Immigration Bernard John Otoo, said Promise, now a Convict, resided at Mafi-Kuamse, a suburb of Sogakope in the Volta Region.
Prosecution said Promise recruited and transported seven girls from Nigeria to Ghana with the pretext of securing them employment as sales girls in a supermarket in Kasoa in the Central Region of Ghana but forced them into prostitution.
It said the girls (victims) arrived in two groups; the first group was made up of four women aged between 22 to 25 years.
Prosecution said Promise recruited and transported them initially to Kasoa and forced them to have sex with numerous men on a daily basis and benefitted from their illicit trade by collecting the proceeds.
It said after a while, security personnel in Kasoa were alerted of the plight of the victims.
Prosecution said the convict however relocated them to a guesthouse at Mafi Kumase, a suburb of Sogakope.
It said at Mafi-Kumase, Promise recruited and transported three more victims (girls) from Nigeria aged 17, 20 and 23 and she forced them into prostitution.
According to the prosecution, further investigations revealed that she shaved their pubic hair for a ritual to ensure that the victims complied with her demands.
It said the Ghana Immigration Service was informed, leading to the arrest of Promise and the arrest of victims.