A middle-aged woman has been apprehended for using underaged girls as prostitutes in a brothel in Oba, Idemili South Local government Area of Anambra State.
This followed a video trending on social media where some youths of Oba community stormed the said brothel and discovered several girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen who are forced into prostitution in the area.
The development triggered public reactions as many people called for the arrest of the person who runs the brothel.
The state commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Justice, Mrs Ify Obinabo, who led security agents to apprehend the suspect and her husband, said the Anambra State government under Professor Chukwuma Soludu would leave no stone unturned in fishing out such bad eggs in the state.
Sources alleged that she offered a bribe of two million naira to the commissioner to evade the law.
In 2019, Radio Nigeria carried a report about three young girls who were burnt to death in Nnewi after their madam who was using them for sex business locked them up in a brothel and went home at night.
The suspect, whose real name was given as Ekpereamaka Okoronkwor, popularly known as “Madam Padded”, was apprehended by security operatives then, but later escaped.
Investigation by Radio Nigeria reveals that it was the same woman who later relocated to Oba community and changed her business name to Ukwu Venza where she allegedly continued the same trade of giving out underaged girls to men for money.
The commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Ify Obinabo, narrated how she received a call from the lady, who proposed to offer two million naira to her which will be followed by a monthly remittance.
Mrs Obinabo said she immediately notified both the governor and other relevant stakeholders who supported her to play along till the suspect was captured.
According to Mrs Obinabo, the suspect first paid three hundred thousand naira which was received in Asaba, Delta State, as an exhibit which was handed to security operatives.
The woman, who hails from Nnewi, later agreed to meet one-on-one with the commissioner since she had earlier watered the ground.
Mrs Obinabo, who explained how she went with security operatives to the location where the suspect had agreed to bring the remaining part of the two million naira, said it was during the interaction that she was finally apprehended by the police after they were signalled to do so.
The commissioner, while cautioning members of the public, especially men who patronize such places to stay away from underaged girls, reiterated the resolve of the Governor Soludo-led administration to deal decisively with operators of such places where young girls are ruined for life.
She said the suspect and her husband who are both in police custody would be arraigned in court immediately while efforts were being made to locate the whereabouts of the underaged girls who were seen in the viral video so that they could be rehabilitated mentally and otherwise.
Shortly after she was apprehended, the suspect, who changed her name to Chioma Okeke, denied any wrong doing, claiming that the girls that were shown in the video were customers who came to buy drinks before the youths of Oba arrived at her shop.
Meanwhile the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, while confirming that the suspects were in their custody, said investigation was ongoing to find out if she had more girls than the number seen in the video after which they would be charged to court.
Credit: Radio Nigeria