Ebonyi teenagers trafficked to Ghana for prostitution recounts ordeal
By Ruth Oginyi
Some teenagers from Akaeze, Ivo local government area in Ebonyi State, Tuesday narrated how they were trafficked to Ghana from where they were forced into commercial sex works for a woman operating the in area.
The traffic survivors, Ugochi, Ogechi, and Mmesoma(surnames withheld) between the ages of 15 and 17 were taken away from their Akaeze community, Ivo Local Government Area of the State forcefully by some men in the Local Government who have contact with the woman in Ghana and some of her accomplices by one Ivi Chukwu Chinecherem, 20, and Ogbonna Justice, 19 years old.
The suspects were paraded by the State’s Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba while the victims narrated their ordeals to journalists.
CP Aliyu said the suspects will be charged to court after the police investigation.
According to reports, Ivi Chukwu Chinecherem, 20, and Ogbonna Justice, 19, allegedly took away the girls from the community without the consent of their parents and handed them over to the woman in Ghana who took them to a shrine where they were administered oath not to run away from the country or disclose what they were doing in Ghana else, they will die.
After the oath, the woman gave them four men to be sleeping with them. The men had sex for them for three weeks while parents of the victims were looking for them and reported them as missing in the community to the Ivo Police division in the area which commenced investigation into the matter, leading to the arrest of the said Ivi Chukwu Chinecherem and Ogbonna Justice and rescue of the teenagers.
One of the victims, Ogechi said “there is one boy in our place and he told me that he has a job. I asked him the type of work and he told me that he is serving somebody, he is doing beer parlor and I can sell drinks there. I said okay, I am not interested and I can’t go with him for the business. I traveled and out of our place and came back, he still met me and told me the same thing and I told him that I will tell my mum before I will follow him and go for the business.
He told me that I should not let my parents know, that if I tell them, they will not allow me to go. He told me that if I tell my parents he will destroy me. It was at this point that I agreed to follow him and go. We left for Lagos that day from where he told us that we are going to Ghana. He told me and some other girls that were going with us that if we get to Ghana, we will start the business immediately and I said okay.
“When we got to Ghana, a woman there started telling us that we are going to sleep with some men. I told her no that I can’t do such a thing. She said that I can’t go back to where she took me and that she has already paid my bride price and everything about me, no more going back. She took us to a shrine and we took an oath and she threatened that we will die if we break the oath.
“At that time, she gave us four men to be sleeping with us. When the four of us started sleeping with us, I developed a stomach problem. While I was in Ghana, my mother started looking for me and reported to the police. Police later arrested the boy. The woman put us inside the bus and took us to Lagos where she abandoned us and ran away. We spent three weeks in Ghana”.
Another victim, Mmesoma said four men slept with her for the three weeks they stayed in Ghana before their rescue.
In an interview with the suspects, they claimed that they took the girls to Ghana to help them and not for trafficking.
The suspects maintained they never forced the teenagers to follow them to Ghana.
Chinecherem in his reaction, “I have been in Ghana for over two years. During Corona virus, I came back to my place, Ivo, Ebonyi state. last two months, my friend came for burial and told me that we will be visiting me in the village and I said okay. He arrived and I took him to a bar we have had the discussion. During our discussion, I asked him what he is into and he told me that he is still in Ghana.
“He started telling me that he has entered a place where he will be selling Nigerian Breweries, that he needs salesgirls that will be selling it for him while he will be doing buying and supply. One of my friends told me that he has someone, a girl that is looking for a place to be selling things. I didn’t take the girls to Ghana, they agreed that they were going and the guy sent the money for their transportation.
In his submission, Justice Ogbonna said “it was ending of August when I met Chinecherem who have lived in Ghana for over two years and returned home. He told me that one of his friends that is in Ghana asked him to look for salesgirls and there is one this one of my cousins, Ejighiuwa Ogbonna who told me to look for a place for her that she will serve as a salesgirl. I told Chinecherem my friend about her. I didn’t give the girls to them in form of trafficking, I just did it in form of helping them”.