Human trafficker nabbed with 2 Abidjan-bound girls for prostitution
By OKOSUN DENNIS
A 30-year-old lady from Ogoja in Cross River has been arrested by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command while trying to transport two teenage girls through Lagos to Abidjan in Ivory Coast for commercial sex work.
The suspect, Martha Edea, a mother of two children, was nabbed in Lagos after travelling with the young girls from Benin City, Edo State.
Martha confessed to the police that she was hoodwinked by one Mariam and trafficked to Ivory Coast after been told there were several jobs opening in the country only to have ended up being introduced into prostitution.
She pointed out that as a result of that singular decision, she ended been enslaved as a sex worker for several months before she was able pay back her custodian who brought her to Abidjan.
Her victims, Francess, 19, and Elo Etim, 18, allegedly consented to be taken out of the country after they willingly agreed to travel to Abidjan for prostitution.
Explaining her ordeals when she claimed to have been deceived into the unholy act, Martha said, “I worked for three months to pay Mariam about 300,000 Cefa (N180,000) as balance for my transportation into Ivory Coast and also for connecting me”.
She added that Mariam after collecting the money travelled to Spain abandoning her as a sex worker in Abidjan.
Martha said that she had left her two kids with the mother in the village. “I was frustrated and couldn’t made headway in the business after my connector had travelled to Spain.
“I had no choice than to yield to my friend’s advise to come back to Nigeria and recruit young girls for the sex business,” She claimed.
Martha, National Daily learnt came back to Nigeria and headed to Edo State where she was told that she would find young girls who were willing to travel out of the country to hustle as strumpets.
The 30-year-old was said to have met some locals in the area who contacted with two young ladies named Favour and Deborah and later introduced her to the young girls.
On the recruitment process, the suspect explained, “Favour took me to one Francess Bamidele whom she said is her friend and would like to be taken out of the country for prostitution. Francess also agreed to follow the unknown middle aged woman after making some juicy promises and testimonies about the foreign country.”
Francess , a 19-year-old secondary school dropout, while talking to the Police said she was elated to hear from Martha that prostitution is very lucrative in Abidjan so she opted for it and decided to travel with her without telling her guardian.
Similarly, Martha also contacted Deborah who lives in the neighborhood to help get another girl who is interested in travelling out of Nigeria in search for better work.
Fortunately, Deborah was said to have contacted one Elo Etim, an 18-year-old who assured her Martha is her friend and it was okay to embark on such journey.
Martha in her statement said, “I paid both Favour and Deborah a sum of N10,000 each for helping me get a girl each for the journey.
“I also met with Elo’s mother, who I told that her daughter was about to embark on a journey to Abidjan and she agreed, prayed for her and wished her good luck”. She explained
On her part, Elo was said to have confirmed her mother being elated about the journey that she gave her some money and phone numbers to call when she arrives Ivory coast.
Done with her recruitment, the task of getting the girls out of the country was what Martha was saddled with.
To realise that it was further learnt, the trafficker took them from Benin, Edo State to Lagos where they were supposed to connect the Nigerian land border to cross to the Republic of Benin.
Unfortunately for Martha, things began to take a negative twist when Francess out of her curiosity began to question Martha about her welfare and coming back from Abidjan for Christmas.
Francess confessed, “I asked Aunty Martha how much we would have to pay her for the trip and she disclosed I and Elo will work for her till we are able to pay the sum of 300,000 Cefa (N180,000) to gain our freedom in Abidjan.
“I told her I wanted to go back home where she met me. This, however led to an argument which attracted other passengers in the bus and they became suspicious and called the attention of the Police when we got to Berger Bus Stop in Lagos.
“We were all arrested and taken to RRS Headquaters in Alausa, Ikeja,” Elo narrated.
Confirming the arrest of the trafficker and the two girls, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole stated that the suspect and her two young girls have been transferred to SCID, Panti for further investigation.