The Anambra State government, in collaboration with security operatives from the state police command, has rescued no fewer than 18 under-aged girls and other victims subjected to prostitution and sex slavery.
The rescue operation took place during a raid on a hotel located in the Oba community, within the Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
The operation was initiated following a tip-off from a concerned whistleblower who had noticed continuous suspicious activities in the vicinity of the hotel.
The victims, primarily under-aged girls, were subsequently taken to the hospital for medical examination and potential treatment, coordinated by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.
Commisioner Heaps Praises on Police
Speaking in the aftermath of the successful raid, Ify Obinabo, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, praised the dedication and efforts of the security operatives involved in rescuing the girls.
She expressed her dismay that despite the state government’s continuous efforts to combat trafficking, there are still individuals engaging in this illicit activity. Obinabo firmly pledged to ensure that justice prevails.
She said, “Before embarking on this raid, an investigation was carried out by the ministry and it was discovered that the management of the hotel, ‘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 Ndi Anambra to always report any suspicious activity around their vicinity for prompt response and action.”
The rescued girls, aged between 16 and 24, shared their stories with journalists.
Many of them disclosed that they had been brought to the hotel by either a friend or a relative, with the promise of securing a job.
However, upon arrival, they were coerced into prostitution and found themselves trapped in a cycle of exploitation.
The victims revealed that their handlers would confiscate their phones and personal belongings, informing them that they would only be released if they met a specific financial target or served their captors for a year.
They reported earning between N4,000 and N10,000 daily on weekdays, and N15,000 to N30,000 during weekends.
Ebere, one of the survivors, shared her experience, saying, “We have different ‘madams’ at the hotel, and the money we make 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 every day, we pay the sum of N3,500 as rent daily from the proceeds of the prostitution business.”
The victims also revealed the harsh reality of their situation, where they were forced to engage with about ten clients a day to meet the demanding financial targets set by their “madams.” Failing to meet these targets often resulted in severe beatings.
Following the successful raid, the suspects apprehended are currently in police custody.
They will be arraigned before the Children, Sexual, and Gender-Based Violence Magistrate Court in Awka once investigations are complete.