Officials of the Anambra State Government and men of the state police command have rescued two underaged girls and 18 others being used for prostitution during a raid of a hotel in Oba community, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
The raid was done following a tip-off from a whistleblower after continuous suspicious activities were observed around the hotel vicinity.
The underage girls were said to be taken to the hospital for medical examination and possible treatment by the ministry.
Speaking shortly after the raid on Wednesday, the state Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, commended the efforts of the security operatives in helping to rescue the girls.
Obinabo vowed to ensure that justice is served while lamenting that despite the state government’s efforts to stop trafficking in the state, some people are still engaging in illicit acts.
She said, “Before embarking on this raid, the investigation was carried out by the ministry, and it was discovered that the management of the hotel by the name ‘Ten Top’, Oba traffics girls from all parts of the country for prostitution purposes.
“The state government is committed to ending all forms of child kidnapping, trafficking and sex slavery in the state and we urge ndị Anambra to always report any suspicious activity around their vicinity for prompt response and action.”
Some of the rescued girls between the ages of 16 and 24 years who spoke to journalists all claimed that they were either taken to the hotel by friends or relatives based on securing a hotel job for them while, on the contrary, they were trafficked.
The victims disclosed that the person who brought them to the brothel usually seized their phones and other belongings before handing them over to another woman who told them that they would only be released if they brought a certain amount of money to her or served her for one year.
They said they made between N4,000 to N10,000 daily and N15,000 to N30,000 during weekends.
One of them, identified as Ebere, said, “We have different ‘madams’ at the hotel, and the money we made is taken away by our different direct ‘madams’ while the owner of the hotel, in turn, comes to collect the money.
“It is from the money we make that we pay the rent to the owner everyday, we pay the sum of N3,500 as rent on a daily basis from the proceeds of the prostitution business.”
“We were given N500 every morning for feeding for the whole day and that the food is brought to us by the security guard positioned at different areas of the hotel.”
The victims also revealed that they sleep with about 10 men a day in order to meet up with the target given to them, and if they don’t meet up with the target, they risk being beaten mercilessly by their madam.
The suspects who were also arrested after the raid are in police custody and will be arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Magistrate Court in Awka after investigations.