An Italian police officer from the Squadra Mobile | Photo: ANSA
An Italian police officer from the Squadra Mobile | Photo: ANSA

An Italian court has convicted 6 men from Nigeria in the gang rape case at Bari migrant center in southern Italy. The prison terms range between 5 and 9 years for gang-raping a 25-year-old.

A court in Italy has sentenced 6 Nigerian men to prison terms ranging between 5 and 9 years for gang raping a 25-year-old Nigerian woman at the CARA hosting center for asylum seekers Bari-Palese in 2017.

The court in Bari issued the sentence after a fast-track trial. Bari preliminary investigations judge (GIP) Marco Galesi on December 12 sentenced in a fast-track trial 6 Nigerian citizens to prison terms ranging between 5 and 9 years for gang-raping a then 25-year old in 2017 at the local center for asylum seekers CARA Bari-Palese.

Trafficking victim abused and raped for months

According to Bari police officers who conducted the investigation coordinated by prosecutors Simona Filoni and Lidia Giorgio, the woman was raped and trafficked while still in Libya and then again in Bari, where she was threatened of being killed by her rapists.

She now lives in a protected facility. Some of the defendants are also among 32 suspects accused by Bari anti-mafia investigators of being part of a Nigerian mafia clan based at the CARA in Bari that allegedly exploited prostitution.

Gang allegedly terrified migrants at holding center

Investigative sources close to the probe into the alleged mafia clan said the rape victim described to investigators a climate of ''terror'' created by the group at the hosting facility.

The longest prison term, 9 years and 10 days, was handed to 38-year-old Olatunde Opaleye. Known as "Egbon," Opaleye is considered one of the gang's leaders. He was found guilty of violence and, with the other 5 defendants, of aggravated gang rape.

Uche Oliver, 22, was sentenced to 5 years and 4 months. The judge also sentenced Henry Sule, 26, Semiu Oguntade, 22, Emmanuel Ohenhen, 23 and Otaniyen Sunday, 34 to 5 years each in jail. The judge also ordered defendants to pay compensation to the victim and to associations Gens Nova and Giraffa.
 

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