The Cross River State Police Command on Thursday arrested a 42-year-old herbalist identify as Emmanuel Akpan-Okon for allegedly holding two kids hostage for four years and turning them to sex slaves.
Following their rescue by the police yesterday, both kids, Esther Wisdom and Felicia Destiny, aged 11, revealed that the herbalist raped them almost every day for the four years they were held hostage.
The suspect was nabbed after the police got a tipoff that the 42-year-old specialized in the preparation of charms for armed robbers.
Confessing to the crime, Akpan-Okon, a native of Akwa Ibom State, said he kidnapped the girls because their mothers could not cater for them.
Akpan-Okon said, “While staying in the same compound with Wisdom’s mother at Onitsha, I observed that she had problems bringing up her nine children. This girl, Wisdom, was always with me when I was staying in their compound. So, when I wanted to leave Onitsha, I took her with me without telling her mother.
“When I left Onitsha with her, I went to Auchi, and was riding a commercial motorcycle as a means of livelihood. Where I stayed in Auchi, Destiny was always coming to play with Esther. I also noticed that Destiny’s mother had many children. So, when I wanted to leave the town, I took her along.
“I had sex with them and I know it is bad in the sight of God. I have a girl child who is with the mother. I will not be happy if she is treated this way.”
Commenting on the arrest, the State Commissioner of Police, Henry Fadairo, said the rescued kids were kidnapped from their parents separately from Onitsha, Anambra State, and Auchi in Edo State.
He said, “On November 16, 2015, we raided one Emmanuel Akpan’s home in Akamkpa, in the Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State, based on a tip-off. We gathered he was into the preparation of charms for armed robbers and treatment of criminals with bullet wounds.
“During the raid, we saw two little girls in his house. One is Esther Wisdom and the other, Felicia Destiny. They are both 11 years. On enquiry, we found out that they were abducted four years ago. Wisdom was stolen from Onitsha while Destiny was stolen from Auchi.
“We are making efforts to see how we can locate their parents. The victims claimed that he had been having regular sex with them.”
Narrating her ordeal, Destiny said she was in primary four when she was abducted, adding that the herbalist took advantage of her many times.
Destiny said, “I was in primary four when he took me away from my home. I remember that my mother lost her sister and when she was going for the burial, she told the man, who was a commercial motorcycle rider, to bring me to her village. That was how I found myself living with him. I used to tell him that I did not like sex, but he continued.”
Wisdom who also lend her voice to the torture they suffered in the hands of the herbalist said, “He has been having sex with us regularly. He gives us food to eat and promises that one day, he will take us back to our mothers.”