From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Two suspects are in the net of the Bayelsa State Police Command for their alleged role in the inter-state trafficking of two young girls for prostitution.
The two victims aged 17 and 18 (names withheld) disclosed that they were put in a car from Ibiona- Ibom Local Government Area by an unidentified man who told them that they were going to work as salesgirls.
According to them, on arrival in Rivers State, they were received by one of the suspects, Ekaette Archibong who took them to a brothel in Elele, Emohua Local Government Area.
The victims said they rejected the job which was contrary to what they were told when leaving Akwa- Ibom prompting Archibong to take them to Emeyal 2 in Ogbia Local Government Area for the salesgirl job at a bar owned by the second suspect (name withheld).
The second suspect however rejected one of the girls for being underage which prompted Archibong to attempt to return her to the brothel in Elele.
Archibong’s attempt immediately led to a revolt by the girls who insisted that none of them would go to the brothel.
The actions of the girls were said to have led to a shouting match as the suspects seized the victim’s phone and demanded a refund of the transport fare.
In the ensuing stand-off, the victims escaped from Emeyal in a tricycle which took them to Ekeki Motor Park before the matter was reported to the Ekeki Police station.
“Achibong insisted that the victims should refund her N16, 500 she spent for their transportation from Akwa Ibom to Bayelsa if they refuse to obey her. The second accused person also supported that they should refund N4, 000 for their transportation and accommodation. The accused persons seized the victims’ phones. But they managed to escape with a Keke driver who told their story and helped in bringing them to Ekeki Park,” a source said.
The Police are currently interrogating the two suspects and sources said they have offered useful information in the investigation of the case.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Bayelsa State chapter which is working with the Gender Unit at Ekeki Police station over the case has filed a petition to the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police over the incident.
The petition signed by the Chairperson of FIDA, Bayelsa Chapter, Deme Debra Pamosoo dated January 14th said it is interested in the case line with FIDA’s core mandate to protect the rights of women and children in Bayelsa State through existing legislation.
“FIDA is indicating interest in this matter. We are by this petition appealing that the defendants be arrested and legal action taken against them for the offences committed,” she said.