The Police in Lagos State have arrested a 33-year-old hotelier, Mr. Victor Obano, who allegedly forces young girls to work as prostitutes in his hotel at Ijegun on the outskirts of the state. A commercial sex worker, who identified herself simply as Grace, was also arrested.
According to reports, Obano travels to places like Cross River, Akwa-Ibom and Edo states to lure young girls with the promise to secure jobs for them, but later force them to work as prostitutes in his hotel, after which each paid N2, 500 daily for using the rooms.
The suspect was arrested after he seized the phone of a victim for refusing to work as a prostitute. The victim’s aunty was said to have lodged a complaint at the State Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, that her younger sister’s phone was seized by her master for the alleged reason.
The suspect was paraded at state Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, weekend, before newsmen.
In his confession, Obano said, “I met the lady three months ago through a friend, when I traveled to Calabar for a friend’s burial, that she had problem taking care of her two children.
“She begged me to bring her to Lagos so that she could work and take care of them. But before bringing her, I went to see her father who also consented to her coming.
“Before we left Calabar for Lagos, I told her what she would be doing when we get to Lagos and she agreed. The first money she made, she sent it back home for the upkeep of her children, but suddenly she was not concentrating on the hustling anymore. “She started going out with some boys in my area which annoyed me and I seized her phone.
“I was in my hotel on Wednesday when policemen came and arrested me for trafficking girls and also forcing them into prostitution. “Some of the ladies in my hotel came through their friends to work; nobody is forcing them into what they are doing. They pay N2, 500 daily for each room they use. “What I am after is money; whenever the girls come I always provide them accommodation. I don’t chase them away.”
But Grace said she knew anything about the case.
According to her, “I only came outside to urinate when policemen who came to raid the hotel arrested me. What I was able to gather was that, when the victim was brought into the hotel, we never knew she had a sister in the neighbourhood. “It was when the owner of the hotel seized her phone for going out with some boys in the area that her sister brought police to arrest our chairman.
“Since my children and I were abandoned by my husband, it was my mother who was taking care of us. “That was what prompted me into prostitution to care of my children. But I thank God I have being able to make a living from the work I do.”
Confirming the arrests to newsmen at the weekend, the Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspects, urged parents and guardians to be wary of those who come to them with a promise to assist their girl-children secure job in Lagos.