By Evelyn Usman & Victor Argy
Plans by a human trafficking syndicate to take seven girls, lured from Delta State to Lagos, outside the country, have been foiled by the Lagos State Police Command, with the victims rescued.
The ladies, ages between 17 and 35 years, told journalists at the Lagos State Police Command yesterday, that they were promised employment in Lagos by a member of the syndicate whose identity they gave as Rita.
The agent, as gathered, embarked on the journey from Delta to Lagos with the victims last Saturday.
However, on reaching a park at Mile 2, the agent, according to the ladies, abandoned them to go and buy airtime to call another suspected member of the gang.
Explaining how the girls were rescued, the Command’s boss, Imohimi Edgal, said: “Information was received from a member of the public that some girls were seen at a park in Mile 2 Lagos at about 6p.m. last Saturday. They appeared lost and confused, claiming that one woman by name Rita, surname not yet known, lured them to Lagos.
“Based on the information, detectives led by Inspector Ebun Anyanwu were mobilised to the scene. Arrested was a member of the syndicate that brought the girls to Lagos; one Emmanuel Daniel, 30”
The victims are Akpotu Progress, 17; Florence Emonena, 35; Celina Abosa, 20; Augustine Tessy, 27; Glory Monday, 21; Gift Jacob, 25, and Lewisca Akalu, 20.
When approached, 17-year-old Progress stated that she opted to join the girls down to Lagos in order to get a job to eke a living.
The teenager, who claimed to be an orphan, said she dropped out of Junior Secondary School 3 because her grandmother, who had been catering for her, was too weak to work.
In tears, she said: “I have been living with my grandmother in Delta State since I lost my parents.
“Living has been unbearable, as I have to fetch firewood to sell before I could get money to buy books and uniform. When Madam Rita told me she could get a job for me as househelp in Lagos, where I would be paid between N20,000 and N25,000 monthly, I jumped at the offer.
“I thought I would at least be able to save and assist my grandmother. But to our shock when the Police apprehended us, we called Madam Rita on phone only for her to tell us that she had gone back to Warri.”
Edgal said efforts are on to arrest other members of the syndicate, even as he advised parents and guardians to be wary of people who come to befriend their daughters with a promise to give them jobs, only to engage them in prostitution and other vices.