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Arrested Abuja prostitutes in courtroom drama

The prosecutor, Barrister Eze B. Eze, informed the court that the 43 accused persons were arrested after 11 pm the previous night for allegedly constituting…

The prosecutor, Barrister Eze B. Eze, informed the court that the 43 accused persons were arrested after 11 pm the previous night for allegedly constituting a nuisance in the FCT and that when they were questioned, they could not give a reliable information regarding their nocturnal activities contrary to AEPB Act No. 10 of 1997.

Their offence was read to them through an interpreter in Hausa and English languages. One of the accused persons said the allegation was true but they were out to sell food.

“I was on my way to the church,” said another.

“Na true but na motor I de wait for,” says another accused.

“The thing wey dem talk no bi true. Na me and my friend commot wen dem catch mi,” another denied.

“It is true that I was caught in the night but I was out for something different”, says one.

“It is true but I was caught in a car,” says another.  

“It is not true. I matched someone’s vehicle and we were settling the matter when they arrested me. The car is still there,” said another accused.  

It was later discovered during investigation that Helen James was a fake name. Joy Tally was non-existent, Blessing Eze was fake, while Evelyn Idi too was fake.

The prosecutor later identified those with fake names when he asked those who had taken their plea to move aside.

“I can speak English very well”, one of those fished out told the court.”

Prosecutor: “That you were waiting by the roadside soliciting for men. That is why they arrested and brought you to this court. Do you understand the allegation? Is it true?”

Accused: “It is not true.”

Those who admitted committing the offence were asked to pay a fine of N2,000 each according to Section 157 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 35(1) of the AEPB Act, 1997 while the prosecutor was to testify as a witness in the case of those who denied the allegation . But the matter was later suspended and the accused persons cautioned and finally discharged.

Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Aminu told the accused persons that there were rehabilitation forms for the prostitutes to fill so that government would get them employed.

“If you are caught in this act next time, you will be convicted and fined altogether”, the magistrate warned.

In an interaction with a few of the suspects before they started obtaining rehabilitation forms, one of them- a teenager- pleaded that her name and photograph should not be published. She said she came to see someone in Abuja and that when she reached her destination, the person had relocated.  She later went to a neighbour’s house in Asokoro and that they went out in search of what to eat when they were arrested.  

Another who was arrested with her sister of the same surname, said the younger sister visited her and was returning to Gwarimpa but she(the sister) was feeling hungry and they went out looking for suya and water. They were about to collect their balance from the suya seller when they were pulled into a vehicle at 10 pm or thereabout.

“I am a widow with three children in secondary school; one in primary five and the last in the playgroup. I was sitting waiting for a man who used to assist me when I was arrested,” another suspect said. “I am 32 years old with three daughters. I have no one to help me and my children have no one to sponsor their education, so what do I do?”another queried.

Another said that she learnt fashion designing but had no one to assist. She went out because she needed money to rent a shop and equip it. In a similar vein, another said she was married and have two children but lost her husband while the younger brother of her husband was not assisting. All her children have been expelled from school.

“I was only a victim caught along with the others. I came from Maiduguri and will return there tomorrow.”

“When they were arrested, Senators, members of the House of Representatives, military-officers and top politicians were putting pressure on the DPO through phone calls”, a police source said.

Before the matter was suspended and the prostitutes discharged on Saturday afternoon, expensive vehicles were seen at the AEPB gate in Area 3, Garki, waiting to take them to their respective places.

  On the list of suspected prostitutes arrested were two regular students of the University of Abuja who had exams to write that Saturday but were released that morning after showing their ID cards to the prosecutor.     

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