“the woman told me that she has a beer parlour in Lagos and wanted me to work as sales girl there, but when we got here she gave me boxer shorts to wear and when I asked her where the drinking parlour is for me to start working, she said I should hustle like other girls by sleeping with men and when I refused she beat me up.”
The girls, with different cane marks on their bodies, said the lady beat them to submission, adding that when they started it was very painful as they were not used to sleeping with such large number of men daily. Patience recounting her experience said ‘
“Every day we sleep with over twenty men for N500.00 each and because we are young, men do line up to have us. At about 12 midnight, ‘Chair Lady’ will come in and collect the money, because she counts the condoms she gives to us, if you do not give her all the money she will beat you mercilessly.
The girls said Abigail and the men working for her normally, searched their room and their bodies at the close of each day to ensure they had not hidden any money and beaten if any money was found on them. They said Abigail on arrival in Calabar collected their phones and did not allow any of them to step outside the brothel for fear that they might run away. They said when Angela and Charity attempted to escape that they were beaten to a state of unconsciousness by the woman and some of her male friends. Angela said
“ When I tried running away, she brought a soldier and a policeman, who are her boyfriends, and they beat me up and poured tear gas in my eyes. I later fell sick because of that beating for many days”. On why they followed the woman without letting their parents know, they said once the woman touched them on the shoulders they became confused and went with her. “ I was walking in our market in Okun Local Government Area when she greeted me and touched me on the shoulder and that was how I followed her and we entered vehicle to Enugu to the house of a juju man, who prepared a medicine (concoction) for us to drink which she said was to protect us from sickness, but when we got to Calabar, she said if we run away the medicine the man gave us will make our private part to rot,”Charity narrated.
But the Ebonyi State born, “Chair Lady” , Abigail Aliyu , said her arrest by operatives of the Anti Human Trafficking operatives of the Cross River State Police Command was due to jealousy, adding that she was not the one that brought the girls to Calabar. Mr John Eluu,
Cross River State Police Public Relations Officer, said the woman will soon be charged to court after investigation and warned youths to be cautious and not go with anyone who promises them jobs in Lagos or any other town without any proof.