By Hafeez Hanafi, Punch Newspaper
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person, NAPTIP, has begun profiling 22 teenagers rescued from a brothel on the premises of Kolab Hotel on Ayetoro Road, Ogun State, with a view to rehabilitating them.
The agency had also launched a manhunt for the syndicate involved in the sex trafficking of the victims, especially underage girls among them, trafficked from Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
Our correspondent had uncovered how minors were being forced into prostitution at the facility, posing as a client to speak to one of the girls, Abigail (pseudonym), who recounted her harrowing six-month experience having sex with men in exchange for N500/N1,000 collected by one Madam Nelly.
After the undercover investigation, Police stormed the hotel, rescued 22 persons and arrested some male suspects, including the Hotel Manager, Isaac Ogbaji and Supervisor, Samuyiwa Olatunde.
The Police consequently handed over the victims and two prime suspects to NAPTIP on Monday for further investigation.
The Zonal Commander, NAPTIP Zonal Command, covering Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States, Mr. Ganiu Aganran, told our correspondent on Friday that the Agency had commenced profiling of the teenagers and tracking of their traffickers.
On Abigail, who has yet to be found, Aganran said the Government of Cross River State, where she hails from, had shown interest in her matter, noting that the Agency would intensify efforts to locate her.
He said, “We knew about the case through Punch’s publication last Saturday. Thereafter, I got a call from the Area Commander, Sango-Ota. On Monday, 22 victims and two suspects were handed over to us and we took them to our office. At the moment, we are profiling them (the victims); they are largely from Akwa Ibom State.
“We are trying to arrest those who brought them to the brothel or the end users who profited from the illegal sex work the underage girls among them were subjected to. The Agency will get to the root of the case in collaboration with the Police. We will not rest on our laurels until we get all the persons involved arrested and prosecuted”.
The Zonal Commander stated that the victims were being stabilised in the Agency’s protective custody, noting that profiling would reveal their individual rehabilitation needs.
He added, “For those among them who are 18 years and above, we want to identify their areas of specialisation. We are working closely with our partners and some of them have indicated interest to assist them.
“For the underage girls, we need to know their family background and see if the Government can take up the sponsorship of their education. In close relation with the Akwa Ibom State Government, we can identify those that are still in school and see how the Government can assist them. If they were not from indigent homes, they would not have found themselves in that kind of situation”.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.