The Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court, sitting at the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Awka, has remanded a brothel owner, Mrs. Ekpereamaka Okonkwo, 39, and her husband, Okechukwu Okonkwo, 36, for allegedly using underage girls for prostitution purposes in Oba, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state.
It was reported that the woman was arrested last week after Oba youths raided her brothel for allegedly using underage girls as sex workers. About nine victims, including three girls aged 13, and some others not older than 19, were found in the brothel.
She escaped law enforcement agents and ran to Asaba, Delta State and later sent her husband to bribe the Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Children’s Welfare, Mrs. Ify Obinabo, with the sum of N300,000, to enable her return to business.
The Commissioner played along, accepted the money and asked her husband to bring her for settlement. She was arrested when she arrived the agreed location.
The couple who hail from Mbanagwu Village, Otolo Nnewi was arraigned on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023, on a-nine count charge, mainly, official corruption, prevention of course of Justice and procurement of about 5 underage girls for prostitution purposes; punishable under section 495 (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol II, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991.
The charge was read and interpreted to the defendants, to the satisfaction of the Court.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the nine charges.
The defendants were however remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Awka, and Onitsha respectively.
The case adjourned further to the 12th day of July, 2023, for ruling on bail application.