Precious is smart and good looking, but greed led her maternal cousin to sell her off for prostitution for as little as N10,000. Speaking to Daily Times as friends and family members celebrate her return from Libya at their Igboroko Street, Lakwe, Ajah residence, Precious recounted her ordeal that began on May 25, 2014 on her way back from school.
“I left home about 5 pm and boarded a bus to my school in Ikene Ogun state. Unfortunately, we ran into a gang of suspected cultists in Ijebu-Ode. I was tortured and assaulted, before one of the gang members had a second thought and decided to rescue me from his other gang members.”
The encounter took a different turn when her ‘rescuer’ instead of allowing Precious continue her journey to school, the gang member (name withheld) took his victim back to his house at the Ojota area of Lagos where she was held hostage for days.
But on one of those days when precious was given the opportunity to move around the environment, she met one Kelvin who is a relative from her maternal family. Thinking she had finally found her deliverer, she gladly followed Kelvin who sold her off for a token sum of N10,000, exploited her parents and subsequently exported her to Libya for prostitution.
Following her parents report to the divisional police office in Ajah about their missing daughter, the case was transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Panti for proper investigation.
Fortunately the case received a breath of fresh air when information reached the State Commissioner of Police, CP kayode Aderanti who ordered the officer in charge of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja to rescue the victim and arrest the perpetrators of the cruel act.
This operation paid off as three suspects, Innocent Onyekwe (38), Ugwu Christopher Maduabuchi (37) and Christian Mercy Chima (27), were arrested. They however, supplied the police with useful information which led to the arrest of the kingpins, Kelvin Okorie (27) and 20 years old Ogbonna Njoku. The duo are alleged to have perpetrated the devilish act and requested for various sums of money ranging from $30,000. N200, 000 and N30,000 from the victim’s parent.
CP Aderanti recounted how the suspects were arrested. “The process was long, tortuous and harrowing. We deployed cutting edge technology and adopted out-of-the-box tactics to achieve results. At every turn the safe liberation of the victim was top on our minds, taking into account the pains and trauma of the parents.
“Numerous suspects were arrested, but the breakthrough came when a decoy team of SARS led by the irrepressible officer in charge of the squad, SP Abba Kyari arrested one KelvinO korie, a cousin to the mother of the victim. Through him, contact was established with the gang’s member in Libya which subsequently led to the safe return of the victim to Lagos on Friday April 24 2015, almost a year after the abduction of the teenager.”
The key suspect Kelvin, who also spoke with Daily Times denied knowledge of what precious was led into. According to him, “I was only trying to help so that my family can also have someone abroad. The N10,000 I collected was just money Daniel gave to me for accompanying him to supply beans somewhere. I know I lied about calling her parents to give their consent for her to travel. I know I was very wrong for allowing Precious travel without her parent’s knowledge. I am very sorry.” He said
Also, Ogbonna claimed he knew nothing about the deal. “I was not there when Daniel gave Kelvin N10,000, and I never knew my brother was into trafficking of persons for prostitution. I just know he does business in Libya. I did not know the kind of business.”
CP Aderanti used the opportunity to admonish parents, especially those who have children in boarding schools to take it as their responsibility to take to or pick their children from school. And if need be, only trusted persons should be allowed to do so on their behalf. He also stated that medical processes have been initiated to fully rehabilitate the victim.
CP Aderanti however assured that the command will partner with INTERPOL and other agencies to rescue other of such victims in Libya and also bring the perpetrators to face the law.