24 Feb 2015

National Assembly prescribes 5-year jail term for child labour

The National Assembly has passed a bill which prescribed a five-year jail term for any person who permits any place or premises to be used for the purpose of forced labour in Nigeria.

President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to assent to the bill on trafficking in person (prohibition) law enforcement and administration Act, 2003 (as amended), whenever it is transmitted to him.

The conference report which is the harmonization version between the Senate and House of Representatives adopted by the Senate, was to provide measures against trafficking and for related matters, 2015.

Section 22 of the adopted bill states that any person who permits any place or premises to be used for the purpose of forced labour commits an offence that is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years and to a fine of not less than N1m.

The bill also states that any person arrested or under investigation for an offence under the Act, would get his or her account frozen by applying to the High Court for an exparte for an order authorising the agency to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other as appropriate regulatory authority to issue an order as specified in the Act.

The bill added that, “the Director-General may, if satisfied that the money in the account of an arrested person is made through the commission of an offence under this Act, addressed to the authority of the bank or financial institution where the account is or believed to be domiciled to freeze the account.”

The bill also empowered the National Agency for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons to enter into any premises, property or conveyance for the purpose of conducting searches in furtherance of its functions under the Act or under any other law.

It is expressly stated in the legislation that all acts of human trafficking are prohibited in Nigeria.

Credit: Sunday Aborisade/Punch

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