Nigeria: How we were lured into prostitution – Trafficking Victims
Lagos, July 9, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Two victims of human trafficking paraded before journalists on Monday by the Lagos State Police Command said they were forced to go into prostitution by their alleged traffickers.
Helen Dickson and Chinwendu Onyekachi said they were brought to Lagos under the pretext that they would have legitimate means of livelihood.
The victims were paraded alongside their alleged traffickers – Ikechukwu Egbulefu and Vera John.
The police said Messrs Egbulefu and John were involved in human trafficking and using their victims as sex tools.
“On June 1, the command received an information that one man and a woman are trafficking in human person,” said Imohimi Edgal, the Lagos State police commissioner.
“It was alleged that they bring girls from other states such as Imo, Akwa-Ibom, and Rivers states to Lagos State for prostitution.
“On the strength of the information, FSARS operatives were directed to investigate and arrest the suspects involved. Investigation led to the arrest of the said Ikechukwu Egbulefu 27 years and Vera John 26 years at Wagbas Hotel, Ajah, Lagos and three victims of human trafficking were rescued from them.”
The police commissioner said the victims confessed that the suspects lured them to Lagos with a promise of a job and better life.
“They also narrated that they were taken to a shrine in Epe-Ijebu and were made to swear an oath that they would not abscond from the hotel. The painful aspect was that after sleeping with various men, they surrender the proceed to Vera John.”
According to Ms Dickson, she met Mr Egbulefu in Port Harcourt after her mother sent her out of their home for returning home late.
“I’ve been working with them for two months, I sleep with about 10 men in a day and each man pays N4,000, we do give the money to Vera.”
For Ms Onyekachi, her sojourn in Lagos began after she finished her West African Examination Council.
“Ike told my village brother that there is a place I can work in Lagos as a sales girl,” said Ms Onyekachi.
“When I got to Lagos, he took me to Vera and I told Vera that I will not stay but I was told that I have to pay for the money used to transport me to Lagos.
“She took us to swear an oath that if we run away, we will run mad, I give her ₦20,000 every day. My parents and my brother don’t know the type of work I am doing because Ike told my brother that I’m coming to Lagos to be a salesgirl.”
When she was inteviewed, Ms John denied taking the girls to swear an oath.
“Truly, I took the girls to Epe-Ijebu but it was not to swear an oath, it was because one of the girls, the 18-year-old girl, complained that she does not get enough customers.
“So, I took them so that they can get customers. I don’t force people to do the job, some girls left when they could not do it.”
The police said the suspects would be charged to court soon.