The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Lagos State Command in the twilight hours of April 27, 2023 received 83 victims of human trafficking, all Nigerian girls ranging from ages 19 to 40, rescued from Port Novo, Benin Republic from a prostitution den.
The Cotonou Police had raided a den in Dowa, Port Novo and handed the Nigerian girls to the Embassy of Nigeria.
The Embassy coordinated the return of the girls with the Nigeria Immigration Service, Seme Border Command, who handed them over to NAPTIP.
Addressing the victims, the Zonal Commander, Comfort Agboko, enjoined them not to be discouraged, but be determined to rebuild their lives.
Agboko advised them to seek clear information before embarking on any journey in future.
Recounting their experience, some of the girls reported that they had been lured by friends who told them false stories of good job opportunities.
Some reported that they were forced to take oaths and made to eat meals specifically prepared with their menstrual period blood by their “madams”.
A young lady stated that all the girls lived in a compound that had a number of three story buildings in Dowa, Port Novo, which she called the “hostel”.
She said every new entrant was made to pay the sum of N25,000 as “marching ground” fees, while rent was collected every six days from the occupants who she reported were all Nigerian girls.
At the time of this report, some of the girls have been reunited with their families, while a few are in the Agency’s care.
Investigations have been commenced to bring their recruiters and madams to book.