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Under-age Prostitutes Recount Ordeal







Three under age girls, who were among those recently rescued from a hotel in the Alaba area of Lagos, have given reasons for taking to prostitution.

Agness, 12, said she was shocked when some policemen stormed the hotel, arrested and took them to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP) shelter at Ikoyi.

Before Agnes got to the age of 12, she had already lost her virginity to a man she identified as Okonkon. Her troubles started when her parents died few years back while she was still in primary two and left her in the care of an aunt.

She said: "I sold pure water for my auntie for three years. Later, for no reason, she drove me out. The landlady gave her quit notice for sending me out. It was the woman, who sometimes gave me money to buy garri and drink. I started sleeping in the streets. It was in the street that I met Okonkon. He would take me to his house, sleep with me and give me money. I have never got pregnant."

As Agnes was struggling to survive, it was only a matter of time before a new calling came. One day, a friend identified as Ugbo, called her. She told her the story of the beauty of Lagos. She also told her about making money in Lagos and being a maid to one madam. Agnes was hooked. Ugbo told her it would be worthwhile if she could bring another girl to Lagos.

Agnes quickly ran to call 14-year-old Peace, who was having problems with her mother following the death of her father. Peace said: "I was quarrelling with my mother. It was not long that my father died that she started dating one man. She brought him to our house and he started living with us. Ugbo said we would sell something, but she never said anything about prostitution. I left with them and never told my mother."

They were, however, shocked when they got to Lagos and were taken to a hotel at Ajegunle. They were also shocked to see one of their village girls called Stella. According to them, Stellaís mother had been looking for her.
Peace said: "When I saw the activities in the hotel, I told my madam that I couldnít do such a job. I told her I had never done it before, but she said I had to pay her the cost of transporting me to Lagos from Akwa Ibom."

Peace tried to buy time, by charging her clients outrageous fees. Once they leave, she would lie to her madam that the men didnít want to use condoms.
Stella, 15, a primary six drop-out, said she ran away from home to Lagos because she had the dream of working in a big supermarket and making quick money.
She got to Lagos to discover her real job. She said she made much fuss until the manager of the hotel, Atim, sent her away, saying she was too young. Undaunted, the madam took her to another hotel, where she finally settled for business.

Stella said: "I wish to return home to my mother. Atim never told me the good job was prostitution."
The girls are already being rehabilitated by experts. Agnes and Peace said they would give anything to go back to school.

EVIL WOMAN: Gives housegirl scar with hot knife for watching TV

An 11-year-old girl in Lagos has told how her aunty, smeared her face and body with hot knife for watching television.

Nkiru Egboanu, who left her village in Anambra State three years ago to stay with her uncle and his wife, was literally turned into an animal by her uncleís wife, Uju Basil. The young girlís predicament reached its peak last week when her guardian allegedly placed a knife in a burning stove and defaced her body with the red hot knife.

Nemesis caught up with Uju, when she sent the victim to drop her kids in school. Passers -by who saw the little girlís battered face stopped to ask her what happened. Among them was a human rights activist, Israel Mabaebie, who followed her home.
Barrister Israel, was shocked when he saw the open wounds all over Nkiruís body. " I knew that the girl had been tortured," he said. "She had not been taken to the hospital and the sores were attracting flies.

She looked traumatized and psychologically down. I asked her what happened and she told me that it was her aunty that defaced her. I did not believe that a human being could do that to another person. I decided to follow her home. By then, a group of people had gathered and followed me to her house."
If Israel thought that he had seen the worst, he was dumbfounded when Uju confirmed that she actually injured her niece. He said: "She showed no remorse.

She confirmed that she used hot knife on the girl because she was watching television and forgot to wash the bathroom. I decided to take the case up and reported at the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba. You wonít believe that somebody wanted to bribe me with money. He claimed that he did not know that the injury on the poor girlís face was that bad. I told him to go to hell with his money because I donít joke with my conscience. They were not even bothered when I told them that I was going to the police."

When Daily Sun paid a visit to Ujuís home, she confirmed that she smeared the girlís body. She said: "That girl is too playful. I have told her several times not to watch television. She has spoilt the television before and I repaired it. I gave her some chores to do but she was sitting before the TV not doing what I asked her to do. I got angry and asked her to follow me to the kitchen. I took a knife and put it on one of the burning stoves in my kitchen. I put it on one of her cheeks.
"Instead of her to cry, she was looking at me. I felt that she was daring me. So, I put the knife back in the fire and put it on the other cheek. She was still looking at me. I put it all over her body and sent her back to do her chores."

When detectives led by Inspector Akeem Ishola arrived at Ujuís Orile home to arrest her, they met a crowd outside the home asking for the womanís head. A neighbour who pleaded anonymity, said: "A few weeks ago, I would have sent Nkiru back to her parents if I knew where they live in the East, if I had the money. That day, she beat the girl to the extent that blood was coming out of her eyes. The girl could not see for days. She was groping in darkness. When I asked her what happened, she told me that her aunty beat her because she did not wash plates. I had to give the girl some food. I could not do more than that because I donít want the womanís trouble."

Nkiru, confided in Daily Sun that she did not want to return to her auntyís place. She said: "I donít want to go back. She is always beating me. I want to go back to my mother in the village. She sent all my elder brothers that were staying with us away. She does not give me food and I work from morning till night. I donít go to school again because she has withdrawn me. Please, donít let me go."
Barrister Israel further revealed that Ujuís family had been sending emissaries to him to beg, but he was not relenting in ensuring that justice was done.






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