A two man human trafficking syndicate who specialises in recruiting teenage girl from Rivers, Imo and Akwa-Ibom States for prostitution have been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command.
The suspects, Ikechkwu Egbulefu and Vera John who are lovers were arrested at their hideout at Wagbas Hotel Ajah, Lagos, where they camp the girls as sex slaves.
Three victims, Helen Dickson (22yrs), Debora David (18yrs), and Chinwendu Oyekachi (18yrs) were all rescued at the hotel.
Investigations revealed that the suspects who recruit the girls from villages with a promise of a better life were taken to a shrine where they took oath of secrecy.
It was also learnt that the girls who sleep with at least ten men Daily deliver N20,000 daily to the suspects.
The Lagos State Police Commissioner, CP Imohimi Edgal who paraded the suspects at the Command Headquarters in Ikeja disclosed that the suspects were arrested on July 1st 2018 at about 2pm.
Edgal said, ” the Command received an information that one Ikechkwu Egbulefu and Vera John are trafficking in human person.
It was alleged that they bring girls from other States such as Imo, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers States to Lagos State for prostitution.
” On the strength of the information, FSARS operatives were directed to investigate and arrest the suspects involved. Investigation led to the arrest of the suspects and the rescuing of the following victims of human trafficking
” The victims confessed that the suspects lured them to Lagos with a promise of job and better living. They also narrated that they were taken to a shrine in Epe-Ijebu and were made to swear an oath that they would not abscond from the hotel.
” The painful aspect was that after sleeping with various men, they surrender the proceed to Vera John.”
In her confessional statement, Vera denied taking the girls to a shrine for an oath. She insisted the girls consented to engaging in prostitution.
She said, ” I was arrested on June 28, 2018 for human trafficking. I met Helen two months ago after my lover Ikechukwu introduced her to me. I asked her if she has been briefed about the work she wants to engage in, she said yes.
I asked her how much Ikechukwu had told her she will be paid, she said N400,000. I however promised that if she worked well I will pay her up to one million naira.
“She has worked for two months, in the morning after their return I will take the money from them. they pay N20, 000 for the four rooms while they eat N1,800 food.
” I am also a commercial sex worker I don’t know how many men they sleep with daily it is usually in the morning that they handover the proceeds from the previous day.
We live in a hotel, usually we all stand in front of the hotel and men come and make their choice.
It was when we were not having enough patronage that I took the girls to a native doctor to make charms for us so that men can patronise us. I didn’t do it to exploit them.
” so I went to a native doctor at Ijebu. The native doctor asked us to bring soap he requested for their pubic hair and hair from their head. But they discovered that Chinwendu has shaved her pubic hair and so can’t participate in the rites.
The other two participated who used hairs from their private with a soap to prepare a concoction. He told them to bath with the soap which will make them more attractive to make customers.”
On his part, Ikechukwu said, the plan was to settle the girls after one year and travel abroad with whatever I am able to gather from the business. ” I brought these girls to Lagos for prostitution.
I knew Helen in Port Harcourt, she told me that her mother chased her away from home and that she needs a place to sleep. I bought food for her to eat.
” I told her that I will take her to Lagos where she can stay and start working. That was how she came to Lagos and I took her to my girlfriend Vera who kept her in a hotel for prostitution. We had plans to settle the girls after one year and I also wanted to travel out.”
Dickson who tells how she got into prostitution said, ” I am from Akwa-Ibom State. My mother had chased me out of the house after I had attended an all night party.
I had known Ik in Port Harcourt, so I told him about my ordeal. He agreed to help saying he will take me to Lagos to work in a boutique, which I agreed.
” When we got to Lagos, he took me to Madam Vera who then told me it was prostitution I had come me to do. I didn’t have an option because I couldn’t go back to port Harcourt because I didn’t have money on me. I stayed and started work. I was taken to a native doctor where we swore an path of loyalty and secrecy.
” I slept with at least 10 men a day. each was paying N4,000. I have been working for her for two months now.”
Oyekachi said, “Ikechukwu brought me from my village in Imo state that he has a sales girl job for me in Lagos. When we got to Lagos , he said it was prostitution he brought me to do. He handed me over to madam Vera and she took me and Helen to a shrine.
” The herbalist bathed us with chicken blood and he cut our pubic hair and armpit hair. We swore to the oath that we will not run away and that if we do we will run mad. The herbalist gave us a black substance to eat and ordered us to sleep in a dark room for one night.
For the two month I have worked, I have made between N300,000 to N400,000. ”
Oyekachi begged to be taken back home saying she never wanted to be a prostitute.
The Commissioner of Police stated that the suspects will be charged to court at the completion of investigation.