AN ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF VICTIMS OF CRIMES IN NIGERIA
It is not exaggeration that despite the effort of NAPTIP and other bodies like the ILO, there are still cases and reports of women and child trafficking in Nigeria. There are occasions where hospitals take in young pregnant girls, offer them money for their babies ranging from N20,000-N25,000, which they in turn sell between N150,000-N30,000 depending on the gender of the baby. Regrettably, many Nigerian children in particular and Africa in general are prone to the whims and caprices of human traffickers at a very astronomical rate. Some of the problems of trafficking in persons are; the past and present military and political leaders lack political will of the states to deal with the current issues despite large budgetary amount that was earmarked to deal with the issue of all sorts of criminal activities, parents and relations of trafficked persons are never interested in helping law enforcement officials to discourage their children or alert the officers responsible for the prohibition of trafficking in persons, The absence of reliable records in the offices of NAPTIP, various ministry of justice and some police departments on crimes and victimization has hindered the understanding of crime pattern and trend of human trafficking, the lack of enforcement mechanisms in to search arrest and prosecutions of the suspects of trafficking and deal with them in accordance with provisions of the law is another problem. Some of the objectives are; to examine the laws on trafficking, to examine the application of the law on the offence of trafficking, also to establish findings on the application of those laws on the offence of trafficking and to provide recommendations. The findings are; the judiciary and administrative mechanisms for the prevention of human trafficking is ineffective, illiteracy contribute a lot to backwardness of combating human trafficking, Nigerian anti-trafficking law in itself does not provide a serious punishment that is commensurate with the gravity of the offences, it has been observed that there has been a problem of lack of coordination between international agencies and the Nigerian domestic agencies, i.e. NAPTIP and other law enforcement agencies that are meant for protection of trafficking. The recommendations are; Judicial and administrative mechanisms should be strengthened where necessary to enable victims to obtain prompt and adequate redress through formal and informal procedures that are expeditious, fair, inexpensive and accessible, Need to educate the public about the rights and duties of suspects, offenders, victims and the state as stakeholders in the criminal justice system, Need to further re-examine our criminal justice administration with a view to addressing the problems created by our inheritance of a colonial system which extols the theory of law and state to the point that recognizes only the state and the offender as the “parties” to criminal proceedings, and to the attendant neglect of the rights and welfare of the victim.
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