Section 31

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Corporate criminal liability Human trafficking

Section 31 specifies that for any offences committed under the Act, where the offence has been committed by a body corporate on the instigation, or with the connivance of or is attributable to neglect on the part of a director or representative of a body corporate, the individual person involved is liable to the same penalties set out for individual offenders under the Act.
The provision further sets out a specific fine penalty of 10 million naira for body corporates convicted of an offence under the Act. Moreover, it provides that the Court may wind-up the body corporate and transfer its assets and properties to the Victims of Trafficking Trust Fund.

Notes

This provision establishes the criminal liability of corporations for offences committed under the Act. It also provides an exception to this liability, where the corporate body can prove that the offence was committed without its knowledge or that it exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

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Text

Section 31. Offences by a body corporate.

(1) Where an offence under this Act committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed on the instigation or with the connivance of or is attributable to any neglect on the part of a director, manager, secretary of the body corporate or any person purported to act in
any such capacity, the officer shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment provided
under this Act for individuals committing the offence.

(2) Where a body corporate is convicted of an offence under this Act, it shall be liable to a fine of N10,000,000.00 and the Court may issue an order to wind-up the body corporate and its assets and properties transferred to the Victims of Trafficking Trust Fund.

(3) Nothing contained in subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall render any person liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

Law / 26th March 2015 / Nigeria / Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act

The Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act to Provide Measures Against Trafficking and for Related Matters (Trafficking in Persons Enforcement and Administration Act) was adopted in March 2015. The Act repealed the previous Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003. The 2003 Act represented the first attempt to develop a national legal framework to combat human trafficking in Nigeria, and established the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), to enforce laws against trafficking in persons, investigate and prosecute persons suspected of being engaged in human trafficking and to oversee and coordinate matter related to human trafficking, as well as the rehabilitation and counseling of trafficked persons.

The new 2015 Act has attempted to correct a number of problematic areas identified in the 2003 legislation, including improving the consistency of penalties and removing the option for offenders to pay a fine instead of serving a prison sentence. The stated purposes of the Act are to: a) provide an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking and related offences in Nigeria; (b) protect victims of human trafficking; and (c) promote and facilitate national and international cooperation.