…As Police Rescue 3
It is no longer going to be business as usual for brothels engaging and encouraging commercial sex by teenagers in Rivers State. This follows the rising engagement of the underaged girls in sex commercialization especially in urban cities across the country.
In Rivers State, concerned persons are calling on the police and other security agencies to take decisive action against the management of such brothels involved in the illicit trade.
The call was necessitated by discoveries made after the paid of some of the brothels in Diobu area of Port Harcourt recently where some underaged girls were rescued and suspects arrested.
DSP Grace Iringe Koko, Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police command confirmed the arrest of some suspects and the rescue of the underaged girls by the Police when contacted by our reporter but did not give details.
We gathered that officers from Rumulomeni Police station alerted the Azikiwe Police Division in charge of the jurisdiction following a complaint they received from a relative of one of the underage girls before raiding the brothel.
Speaking on the incident, Barrister IK Alexander, Chairman of the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign in Rivers State, a human rights organization that has been monitoring the development called on the Police to synergize with National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) to ensure proper prosecution of arrested suspects.
In an interview with our reporter, Mr Alexander said when his team visited the street on Saturday afternoon after the raid of the brothel by the Police, they discovered that the ‘contractors’. The underaged sex hawkers in other brothels had been relocated by their contractors on suspicion of a possible raid on their hotels.
Mr Alexander further called on the Rivers State Government to partner with NAPTIP to ensure regular surveillance on all the brothels in the State as the rate of teenage prostitution slavery is alarming and ensure that aside the arrest of the ‘contractors’, that Directors, Managers of such brothels are also prosecuted while urging residents of the state to join in the fight against sex slavery by giving useful and timely information to NAPTIP and other relevant security agencies.
He added that his group will monitor progress on the matter to ensure Justice is served.
Also a resident of the area, Peter Okosa in an interview with our journalists commended the Police for the rescue of the teenagers in the brothel at Azikiwe.
Mr Okosa disclosed that the older commercial sex workers who are no longer attractive to prospective male customers go to villages to bring underaged girl between 13 -16 years old on the pretext of helping them to learn and acquire skills.
He said the older commercial sex workers referred to as ‘madams’ collect between N500 to N1000 for ‘short time’ and N2500 to N3000 for ‘daybreak’ from male customers who have sex with the teenage girls.
Mr Okosa revealed that the teenagers are given a target of 20,000 everyday and failure to meet the target attracts physical torture from their ‘madams’.
He explained that each ‘contractors’ has a minimum of five underaged girls working for them and the teenage girls are not allowed to go outside the brothel, neither are they allowed to use mobile phones.
“The people who make their hair come inside the brothel to make their hair while their ‘madams’ buy them cream, food and clothes for 12 to 18 months before they are freed.
“We urge the Rivers State Government and relevant security agencies to extend their surveillance to other brothels in Diobu and the State at large with a view to rescuing more underaged used as sex slaves”.
Investigation revealed that many of the ‘contractors’ have deserted the brothels to evade prosecution.