By Emma Amaize
WARRI—A human trafficking syndicate based in Delta State has reportedly abducted over 40 Nigerian girls, mainly below 18 years as sex slaves for gold miners at a mining field in Burkina Faso, a West African country.
A rights activist in Warri, Delta State, Benefit Orugbo, in a petition to the Area Commander, Nigeria Police Force, Warri, said that the criminal gang, which contracted a voodoo priest to administer charms on the girls, seized one of the girls, Miss Joy (surname withheld), aged 17 years, from Egini community, Udu local government area, Delta State, about six months ago.
Nigerian couple among evil gang: He said a Nigerian couple was among the evil group and urged the police to investigate the complaint and bring all those found culpable to book to unshackle the girls.
Forced oath at juju shrine
Orugbo said: “Miss Joy was in early January, 2017 coerced, detained, deceived and harboured by one the syndicate alongside two other girls of about her age at Ashaka Hotel, Owo-Olomu in Ughelli South local government area of the state for about four days within which period a member of the gang took our client and other girls to a juju shrine at Ughelli, where a man who claimed to be bishop Oku, the priest of the shrine, bathed and incised with a razor on the foreheads, chest region and shoulder of our client and the other girls and the incision rubbed with a substance which appears to be charm.”
Trip to Cotonou: He said they took Joy and other girls to Lagos from where they proceeded to Cotonou and thereafter, Burkina Faso, where a lady member “informed our client and the other girls that they have been sold to her in order for our client and the other girls to do prostitution.
”She further informed them that they would pay her the sum of N2,000,000 (two million naira) each and our client and the other girls pleaded with her to send them back to Nigeria, as their coming was not of their own freewill and that they cannot do prostitution job as they have never been in that kind of job before.”
Inside a bush in Burkina Faso
The solicitor said the syndicate sold the girls to the younger sister of a prominent Delta businessman, who in turn disposed them to yet another woman in Burkina Faso. The second woman took them to the bush where a doctor injected with a substance in their left armpit to prevent them from getting pregnant.
Daily target of 6,000 deuxmille: His words: “The second madam informed our client and the other girls that the cost of sleeping with a man is one deuxmille, which is equivalent to 2000 fcfa and the madam forced our client and the other girls to sleep with about 16 men a day with the target of remitting nothing less than 6000 deuxmille a day or our client and the girls would be beaten mercilessly and starved of food if they fail to meet the daily target.
How cat was let out of bag
“Our client had to go through this awful experience on a daily basis with about 40 other girls in the bush as sex slaves to the miners since she was forced into prostitution in Burkina Faso until sometime in April 2017, when after so much search for our client by her relatives, one Cynthia informed our client’s grandmother, Mrs. Martha, that she last saw our client with one Mrs. Rita
“Our client’s family mounted pressure on Rita and her mother for the whereabouts and return by them of our client and she was returned on the 22nd of April, 2017 to Lagos and she arrived at Egini community on 23rd of April, 2017,” he asserted.
Orugbo noted: “However, at the border of Benin Republic and Nigeria, the persons returning our client injected her with an unknown substance without her consent.”
Appeal to Area Commander: His words: “In the light of the forgoing, we herein pray you to urgently investigate the above complaints and all those found culpable brought to book and liberate the 40 other or so girls of less than 18 years used as sex slaves for gold miners in Burkina Faso in order to rid the society and other immediate neighbouring countries of persons, who willfully involve themselves in trafficking in persons, abduction and sex slavery, which are offences prohibited by the relevant criminal laws in Nigeria.”