Judex Okoro, Calabar
Officials of the Cross River State Command of the Department of State Services have raided two brothels in Calabar metropolis and arrested 59 underaged sex workers.
The midnight raid was as a result of a tip-off from a member of the public on the illegal activities of some hotels located at Flour mills junction and along Murtala Muhammad Highway in Calabar.
An unnamed DSS personnel, who confirmed the raid and spoke on behalf of the State Director, said the proprietor of one of the hotels has also been apprehended alongside 15 other persons suspected to be involved in drugs and other social vices.
He said the service does not prosecute cases involving underaged sex and captive sex workers and that the officials of the National Agency for the Prosecution of Persons Involved in Trafficking have been contacted with the view to taking over the case.
He added that the owners of tghe other hotel, where some of the teenage sex workers operated from, would be arrested in due course. One of the underaged sex workers, Chinazo Emmanuel Confidence, from Abia State, 15, said she was lured into the trade by a friend who later disappeared.
According to her, “I lost contact with my mother in Abia State and I came to Calabar with a friend for a church programme.
“After the programme last year, I later came back on my own to Calabar where I joined the trade so as to help me pay for my WAEC fees.
“I have a permanent lodge in where I pay N1,000 daily and N4,000 on Fridays. So far I have made over N70, 000 and have put it into an Osusu,” she stated.
Also speaking, Princess Oliver from Akwa Ibom, said she came to Cross River to sell goods but her mistress later forced her into the trade.
She said she ran away twice and she was captured by her mistress whom she gave her name as Favour in Calabar South and was made to swear an oath to keep her there.
She said she resides at the hotel permanently and makes daily returns to her mistress as well as payment of rents to the proprietor.
On his part, Edem John the proprietor of Papsy said he has been managing the place for about one year and six months, disclosing also that Papsy also serves as his residence.
Edem John, who is disabled and a father of two children, said he has about 12 girls working for him and that they lodge there permanently.
He said, “About 12 girls permanently work there and they came by themselves.
“I sell drinks, Cigarette and have girls who permanently work there who pay 1,000 daily except on Fridays where they pay N4,000.00”, he confirmed.