By Agnes Nworie
A 43 years old woman, one Stella Okpara have being arraigned by Nigerian Police before a magistrate court sitting in Abakaliki for allegedly forcing her niece aged 20, one Miss Chukwu (first name withheld to avoid stigma) into prostitution.
Mrs. Okpara was accused in the two count charges suit numbered MAB/250c/2020 of procuring the niece to become common prostitute by bringing men to her apartment for the purpose of having carnal knowledge of her at Ndiabofoke village in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state between 20th April to 20th May 2020.
Mrs. Okpara, the defendant is said to have conspired with one other now at large to commit the act and according to the police prosecutor attached to the court, Inspector Chinedu Mbam, they committed offenses punishable under sections 517 and 223(2) both of the criminal code cap 33 volume 1 laws of Ebonyi state of Nigeria 2009.
During the trial, the defendant counsel, Barr Okenu Esq prayed the court to grant his client bail since it is a bailable offence and she has reliable surety.
However being a bailable offence after considering the matter, the trial magistrate his worship Blessing Ibeabuchi-Chukwu granted the defendant bail in the sum of two million naira and one surety in like sum.
She instructed that the surety must be resident within jurisdiction of the court, swears affidavit of means, and deposits his passport photograph and that of the defendant.
The matter was adjourned to the 3rd day of June 2020 for definite hearing.
Meanwhile, chairperson of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, Ebonyi state Chapter, Barr Mrs. Grace I.P. Chima who facilitated rescue of a twenty years old girl from sex exploitation and forceful prostitution allegedly imposed on her by the maternal aunt expressed great displeasure that despite that the girl is secondary school dropout, she is currently pregnant and had given birth to a 2-years-old son through same means.
More so, a Hairstylist, Mrs. Chizoba Okemiri who Chukwu was enrolled as an apprentice in her hair dressing salon at Ahiaofu in Abakaliki confirmed that the victim was subjected to a brutal sexual trade and exploitation by her aunt who had continued to arrange both married and young men to sleep with Chukwu in her rented apartment.
She spoke thus, “Chinasa was brought to me in the month April on Easter day by her mother, aunt and aunt’s friend for the enrollment. And after the bargaining for her training, her mother pleaded that she will be coming to the salon with her son because she might not cope with the child and her job as a Civil servant outside the state.”
Another apprentice in my shop had reported to me that men always visit the victim which I discovered and tried to stop her from seeing them. When I confronted the victim about the men, she revealed that it was her aunt who arranged those men to sleep with her.
“When the visit persisted, I called her mum, she pleaded I should bear with her that she will come back as soon as the state borders are open. The aunt told me that I will get to know why they visit her, one day.I became uncomfortable and had to report the matter to a staff of the Nigeria Television Authority Abakaliki (NTA) who now informed FIDA to facilitate her rescue,” Mrs Okemiri narrated