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Sex trafficking: Virgins for sale in Lagos

Posted by LUKKEY ABAWURU on 2005/08/26 | Views: 6957 |

Sex trafficking: Virgins for sale in Lagos

Trafficking in young girls seems to be defying the efforts of organisations like WOTCLEF which have for years now waged war’ against the abuse of the womenfolk in the name of sex. In this startling expose, Senior Crime Correspondent LUKKEY ABAWURU blows the lid off a syndicate which brings young ‘virgins’ from Benue State to Lagos ostensibly for lucrative jobs, but offers them for sex to randy men.

Trafficking in young girls seems to be defying the efforts of organisations like WOTCLEF which have for years now waged war’ against the abuse of the womenfolk in the name of sex. In this startling expose, Senior Crime Correspondent LUKKEY ABAWURU blows the lid off a syndicate which brings young ‘virgins’ from Benue State to Lagos ostensibly for lucrative jobs, but offers them for sex to randy men.

IT sounded unbelievable yet true as the innocent-looking underage girls recounted their ordeals in the hands of one Dr. Kay Babamoni, a native doctor, in Ikorodu, Lagos, who specialises in bringing virgins from Benue State and distributing them to would-be-clients for sex.

The girls, who are between the ages of nine and 16, confessed that they have been routinely subjected to forced sex with men they never admired.

Their journey stated, sometime in April this year when Dr. Kay sent his agents to Opia and Odu local government areas of Benue State to search for young virgins under-age girls and in some cases, boys who could be sold as house helps to willing people, pending maturity among the girls for prostitution, while others are immediately offered to randy men who want them young and raw.

The agents said to be indigenes of the place quickly swung into action and got the parents of the girls convinced that they were taking their children to Lagos for lucrative jobs that would enhance their upbringing. They were said to have assured their parents that the girls would continue their academic activities while serving notable people.

But the girls were unfortunate, their expectations were cut short when the agents brought them separately to Lagos and handed them over to ‘Dr.’ Kay, said to be a renowned native doctor in Mende. Maryland. The agents disappeared. According to all the girls interviewed, that night was a night of initiation as Dr. Kay mixed a substance in a jug and gave it to all of them to drink.

"Immediately we drank the substance, we could no longer remember anything including our background." They were charmed and treated with disdain. They were neither fed nor clothed, but were paraded daily for men to make their choices after paying to ‘Dr.’ Kay.

For about 30 days upon arrival, a girl is considered a virgin and as such, it costs between N3,000 to N6,000 for a client to take her home for sex.

The confession of the girls were intriguing and thought provoking. Here are some of the stories of the rescued girls who are presently staying at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos pending their journey back home.

What is your name and how did you come to Lagos?

My name is Priscilla Idah. I am 14 years. My brother’s friend came and told me that he wanted to take me to Lagos to do some good job so as to help my parents. He told my father and he gave me money to buy some clothes.

I prepared and we came to Lagos. When we arrived, I was taken to Olugade Street, Mende, Maryland and handed over to ‘Dr.’ Kay.

In the night he gave concoction to drink. I did not see that my brother’s friend till date and I have not even seen my brother too. Every night he will warn us that if we did not follow his friend that he will use his native power to turn us to snake. I was afraid, so every night, men will drive to the place at Maryland and carry us to their houses to sleep. If I refuse, the men will beat us and tell us they have settled our master".

Miss Salome Ibu is a junior secondary school certificate student in Benue, she is 15. Story: "One man from our place convinced me to go to Lagos with him so that I will enrol in a better school. He told my parents and they permitted me to go and I followed him. When we reached Lagos, he took me to Dr. Kay and he asked me if I was a virgin and I replied yes. He (Dr. Kay) gave me concoction and I did not know myself again. Every night men will came to the place and we will parade ourselves until the man chooses any of us.

"One day I begged one man to please give me food before dating me, he refused and beat me warning me that if I worry him again, he will report me to ‘Dr.’ Kay. I kept quiet till day break he gave me N50.00 for transport fare".

Maria Itodol (14): "Some body brought me to Lagos last year and directed me to meet ‘Dr.’ Kay. He told me that ‘Dr.’ Kay will find me work. Actually Kay got me work and after about one year, I told my master that I want to travel, he told me that he had given my monthly salary of N5,000 per month to Dr. Kay, when I came back to ‘Dr.’ Kay, he told me to wait. He demanded to know my purity and I told him that my Oga did not abuse me. He gave me concoction and I slept over. The next day he threatened to kill me if fail to file out in the night for men so that we can raise money for my transport. That was how I became a prey.

"Dr. Kay would collect the money and he would not even feed us. One night, we rebelled and decided not to follow any man. That night he drove us out at about 12 midnight. We managed to open his wife’s shop at Maryland where she grinds pepper, the next day he called police and we were arrested and detained on the allegation that we stole his N50,000 saved in a dust bin. While in the custody, we got a man from our town who introduced us to Ikpeh".

However, the case has been reported to the Lagos State police command.

Confirming this, the police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olubode Ojajuni told Daily Champion, "we are waiting for commissioner of Police for approval to commence actions."

... How they were rescued

SUCCOUR however came the way of the girls as officials of Igede Community Association based in Lagos rescued some of the girls following a tip off from a concerned police man.

The girls were kept at the association’s guest home at Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos.

When Daily Champion visited the guest house, Chief Felix Ikpe, the Ada Igede 1 of Lagos confirmed the assault on his wards. He noted that the children who had been sexually abused were brought to Lagos for child trafficking and forced sex.

Ikpeh said "Dr. Key has agents who do go to our villages to lure these small girls to Lagos and offer them for sale at a price to his customers who troop the place in the night to seek for them".

He said that "even as we have rescued some of them, we got fresh information that another batch of girls were imported" by Dr. Kay yesterday (last Saturday).

Indeed, Ikpeh and his colleagues, Messrs Peter Edema, Ukpa client, Hamza Onah and Elijah Ogbu spoke in one voice. They were demoralised by the incident. According to them, they have tried their best and have committed personal funds to stop child trafficking, at least from their own side but lack of cooperation from their local government has hindered their progress. "We have written and even visited our local government chairman in Benue State and complained it to him last year but he is yet to reply us. We are ashamed that this is happening in our town."

Ikpeh admitted that the incident at hand was not the first in recent times. "Last year we sent over 10 girls home, we fed and transported then back home and not only that we carried out house to house campaign to educate parents on the dangers of giving their children out at a tender age.

Efforts to trace Dr. Kay at his house in Ikorodu proved abortive as there was no trace to his whereabouts.

But a 17-year old boy, Michael who hawks gala at Maryland told Daily Champion that Dr. Kay has been in the business for over three years. Michael who reported the case to the Igede community said.

"One night I heard them speaking our language and I called them in our local language, I was ashamed and since I could not do anything I reported the matter to my brother who gave me money to go to Iyana Ipaja to report the matter.

Dr. Kay and his colleagues are yet to be arrested by the police in Lagos.

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