The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in Anambra State says it has rescued two underaged girls, plus 18 others from a brothel where they were forced into prostitution in Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner, Mrs Ify Obinabo, told newsmen in Awka on Wednesday that the girls were forced into prostitution at the faciltiy.
Obinabo said that the girls were rescued during a raid of the brothel.
She said that the raid was carried out by the ministry, in collaboration with the state Police Command, following a tip off by a whistleblower.
She said that the underaged girls, about 16 years, had been taken to hospital for medical examination and treatment.
“Before embarking on the raid, investigation was carried out by the ministry and it was discovered that the management of the hotel trafficks girls from all parts of the country for prostitution.
“I want to appreciate the police in Anambra for their efforts in the investigation and rescue operation.
“It is sad that, in spite the state government’s efforts to stop trafficking, some people are still committing the crime.
“We will make sure that justice is served.
“I want to assure residents that the State Government is committed to ending all forms of child kidnapping, trafficking and sex slavery in Anambra,” she said.
The commissioner said that the suspects were arrested and currently in police custody.
She said that they would soon be arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Magistrate’s Court in Awka.
She urged residents to always report any suspicious activities around their environment to appropriate government agencies for prompt response and action.
According to Obinabo, the rescued girls told newsmen that some of them came to the hotel through their friends and relations under the guise of securing decent jobs.
“They seized our phones before handing us over to our madam, who told us that we will only be released if we pay certain amount of money or serve her for a period of one year.
“We make N4,000 to N10,000 on week days and N15,000 to N30,000 on weekends, which we give to our madam and the owner of the hotel, Mr Amaechi Etikokwu.
“Each person sleeps with no fewer than 10 men per day to meet the target and if we do not meet our target, our madam will beat us mercilessly.
“It is from this money we make that we pay N3,500 as rent to the owner everyday.
“They give us N500 daily for feeding and the food is bought by the security men,” the commissioner said, quoting the girls.