A 30-year-old man has been jailed for five years by a Chief Magistrate Court for intending to sell his child for N10 million in Minna, the Niger State capital.
The accused, Isah Aliyu, contacted one Magaji Atiku, with the intention of selling his nine-year-old son for N10 million.
Aliyu said he took the decision to sell the boy because of poverty.
The incident which occurred on November 15 at Pandogeri, saw Aliyu contacting Magaji to meet him and buy his son.
Though the asking price was N10 million, Magaji succeeded in beating the price down to N7 million, to which the accused agreed.
Magaji however told Aliyu that he would pay half of the bargained price for the boy and promised to pay the remaining after he was through with what he needed the boy for but Aliyu disagreed, insisting that the money must be paid in full.
Seeing the seriousness of Aliyu to sell his son, Magaji excused himself under the pretext of going to source for the money and reported the incident to the police.
The police then followed Magaji to the meeting place and arrested Aliyu, who was still waiting for the money to be brought so that he could handover his son.
Aliyu was then charged to court based on the law prohibiting the selling of children according to the Niger State Child’s Right Act.
Aliyu pleaded guilty to the charges read by the Chief Magistrate, Hassan Mohammed, and was summarily sentenced to five years imprisonment.
When asked why he intended to sell his son, Aliyu said: “The level of poverty in the country is very biting and things are difficult for me and my family.
“I felt since the boy was under my custody and he is my son, I can sell him and use the money to cater for the rest of the family.”
But the Chief Magistrate faulted his reason, stating that poverty is not a strong reason for the father to sell his son.
Mohammed said: “Is it because of poverty that you will sell your son like someone who is selling a goat?
“That is not reason enough.”
The Prosecutor, Inspector Ahmed Sheidu, said that since Aliyu is a first time offender, the court should convict him summarily in accordance with section 157 of the CPC Act.
In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate said that because Aliyu is a first time offender, the court would be lenient with him.
He sentenced Aliyu to five years imprisonment without an option of fine, adding that he has the right to appeal within 30 days of the judgment.