*As police rescue 24 ‘hustlers’ from brothel
By Evelyn Usman
Among the sex workers rescued in Lagos, one has said she and her colleagues now collect N1,000 from customers due to economic constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was among the 24 girls, who were trafficked from Akwa Ibom State to Lagos for prostitution, rescued at Abbatoir, Agege, area of the state by the Police, on Thursday.
Four men, suspected to have brought the girls to Lagos, were arrested.
The girls, whose ages were between 13 and 22 years, lived in shanties, where their male customers patronised them.
They revealed during interrogation that they collected N1,500 from their male customers, but had to reduce the price because of the impact of the COVID-19.
Activities of the traffickers came to limelight following a report of the disappearance of one of the girls by her relatives in Akwa Ibom State.
It was gathered that during investigation, she was traced to the shanties in Agege, where she was engaged as a commercial sex worker.
Surprisingly, a team of policemen who went for her rescue, discovered that she was not the only one brought into the state by the syndicate.
During profiling, one of them disclosed that she was 13 years old.
When asked what she came to do in Lagos, the teenager declared that “I came to hustle.”
But some of them said they were tricked with employment promise by the agents, only to discover it was a prostitution job.
One of them said: “I am from Oron, Akwa Ibom State. I came to Lagos in January. I was told I was coming to work as a maid only to discover it was a prostitution job and I could not leave because I didn’t know anywhere in Lagos.
“At first, we were collecting N1,500 from customers. But when business became bad, especially because of the coronavirus, we started collecting N1,000.
“We pay N1,000 daily for accommodation. At the end of the day, the agents would collect the money realised from us.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed the rescue of the girls said the men arrested were the brothel managers.
He gave identities of the managers as Okon Felix, 32; MichaelEtim, 22; Victor Asuquao, 35 and Goodness Ebiefie , 32.
Names of the rescued girls are Precious Okon Edet, 21; Offong Mary, 19; Favour Bassey, 22; a 17-year-old; Success Edet, 20; Ndifreky Okoh, 24; Queen Odoh, 21; Alice Edet, 20; Blessing Esin, 21; Mary Etim, 20; Faith Sunday, 25; Sonaj Beauty, 23 and a 13-year-old.
Others are Miracle Effiong, 23; Oriong Patience, 20; Effiong Blessing, 20; Vivian Edet, 23; a 14-year-old; Joy Timothy, 21; Edet Patience, 20; Sunday Glory, 20; Goodness Effiong, 19; Sandra Okon Effiong, 20; Gift Emmanuel, 27; Precious Okon Edet, 21, among others.