Girls trafficked from Akwa-Ibom for prostitution in Lagos open up:
•We sleep with at least six men a day
•COVID 19 affected our business
•I came to hustle in Lagos – 13-yr-old
By Evelyn Usman
They were of different sizes, ages, heights, and complexion but bonded by the oldest trade on earth- prostitution!
They were usually seen sitting in front of shanties along the railway line, Abattoir in the Agege area of Lagos. At the approach of any man, they beamed with smiles, revealing dark-stained teeth, suspected to be the result of the long usage of marijuana.
They would beckon on their male visitors, especially those visiting for the first time, and at the same time posed sexually, competing for their attention. For the visiting men who already had steady ladies, they would walk straight into the particular shanty which served as a brothel.
Activities of these commercial sex workers have been going for some time unhindered, until Wednesday night, when the Police in Lagos discovered that the girls were victims of human trafficking.
Surprisingly, they were all discovered to have been trafficked from Akwa-Ibom State to Lagos. While some of them admitted being aware of what they were coming to do in Lagos, others claimed they were deceived with employment promises.
Crime Guard gathered that one of the girls, Mary Effiong, 19, was declared missing in Akwa-Ibom, five months ago. Apprehension set in after efforts by her family to find her proved abortive. Her sister, Nwanna Edet Effiong, was said to have reported her disappearance to the Police. In the process of searching for her, news reached her family that she was seen around Agege area of Lagos. When informed, the Police in Lagos swung into action and tracked her to Abbatoir, where her indulgence in prostitution was exposed.
Surprisingly, she was discovered not to be alone in the act. Twenty-three other girls, all from Oron, Akwa-Ibom, some of who were teenagers, were also involved. To the amazement of the police team, one of the girls was discovered to be 13 years old.
Meanwhile, back home in Akwa-Ibom, some of the rescued girls had been declared missing, as they reportedly left home without informing their families.
The girls were identified as: Precious Okon Edet, 21; Offong Mary, 19; Favour Ime Bassey, 22; a 17-year-old; Success Edet, 20; Ndifreky Okoh, 24; Queen Okon, 21; Alice Edet, 20; Blessing Esin, 21; Mary Etim, 20; and Faith Sunday, 25.
Others were: Sonaj Beauty, 23; John Agnes, 13; Miracle Effiong, 23; Oriong Patience, 20; Effiong Blessing, 20;Vivian Edet, 23; Amanda Effiong, 14; Joy Timothy, 21; Edet Patience, 20; Sunday Glory, 20; Goodness Effiong, 19; Sandra Effiong, 20 and Gift Emmanuel, 27.
Information at Crime Guard disposal revealed that some of those who patronized the ladies were criminals, who either passed the night with them after the operation, or spent some time with them before going for an operation. Some of their customers were also said to be pickpockets and hoodlums who hide under the cover of the dark to harass passers-by along that route.
During interrogation, some of the girls revealed that they slept with at least six men a day, depending on the number of men that came visiting.
One of them, said, “The least number of men we slept with a day was six depending on the number of men that came daily. Our customers were okada riders, malams (abokis), and even traders. Some of us have regular customers. For me, I don’t like ‘abokis’ because some of them don’t take their bath. Sometimes I allowed okada riders but only those who smell nice. I may not be rich but I like people who don’t have body odour”.
Another girl, Effiong, said, “we used to collect N1,500 for the service. It is a standard charge. But we had to bring down the amount to N1,000 because of COVID-19, when customers were no longer coming. We were paying N1000 per day for the shanty. Unfortunately, the agents would collect the money we made in a day”.
When asked what she came to do in Lagos, the 13-year-old girl simply said, “I came to hustle”.
Four suspected traffickers arrested
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed the rescue of the girls, said, “ four male suspects who were members of the trafficking syndicate were arrested. They are :Okon Felix, 32; Michael Etim, 22; Victor Asuquo, 35 and Goodness Ebiefie, 32. Investigation is still ongoing”.