7th April, 2014
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, has adjourned the trial of a retired policeman turned businessman, Ariwayo Oloyede Destiny, a.k.a Oyinbo, and a Burkina Faso based-businessman, Christian Segun Owanebi, alleged to have been trafficking Nigerian girls to West African countries for prostitution.
In a three-count criminal charge filed before the court by the legal officer of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), it was alleged that the suspects, Owanebi of Pagilaidi, Ouagadaugou, Burkina Faso, and Oyinbo of Block 337, Flat2, Ilasan Estate, Lekki, Lagos, sometime in November, 2012, procured one Onyinyechi aged 19, for prostitution in Burkina Faso.
They thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Sections 15a and 16 of the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003.
Onyinyechi, in an emotion laden voice, told the court how she was lured into prostitution by Oyinbo.
The victim said she was working as a maid in Ajah area of Lagos when she was approached by Oyinbo who promised to secure a job for her as a supermarket attendant in Burkina Faso.
She alleged that the suspect charged her N200, 000 for her travel expenses and to secure the job for her, but later reduced the charges to N150,000, after she allowed him to have sex with her.
The victim said they embarked on the journey without telling her mother but when she got to Burkina Faso, the suspect seized her handset before he handed her vover to a woman called Madam Eunice, whom she alleged was a social sex worker.
Onyinyechi said the woman assigned her to an hotel as a prostitute , where she normally resumes by 6 p.m. and closes by 12 midnight.
She alleged that Madam Eunice prepared her for the job by giving her lectures on how to attract customers, saying that she sleeps with an average of 10 to 12 men everyday and made 85, 000, CFA daily.
“After one week, Owanebi who lives with his wife in Burkina Faso, told me he is traveling back to Nigeria. He gave me his phone, because my phone was seized from me pending the time I will the outstanding debt for my travel expenses.
“ I asked Owanebi to visit my mother, who lives in Lagos to give him some money, Owanebi then promised to call me so that I can speak with my mother,” she narrated.
P.M.NEWS learnt that before the victim left Lagos, the two accused men made her to swear to an oath that if she told anyone about it, the god of iron would killed her.
She alleged that they used palm oil, iron rods, red cloth and razor to take blood from her hand and mixed them with her hair to make the concoction.
Onyinyechi said the oath taking was done before a herbalist.
However, the teenager summoned courage to tell her mother what happened.
Her mother then called the police to arrest Owanebi and his accomplice. The case was later transferred to NAPTIP, which facilitated her return to Nigeria.
Currently, the victim is under the custody of NAPTIP for rehabilitation. Justice Saliu Seidu adjourned the case till Thursday for cross-examination.