IT was a show of shame, on Monday in Abuja, as one of the arrested s*x workers by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) openly told the Mobile Court that some task force members had “s*x” with their colleagues and released them illegally before the day of judgement.
The drama started immediately after eight of the suspects, who were arraigned at the mobile court, alighted from the task force vehicle.
One of the suspects, who simply identified herself as Comfort Abbah, lamented that only eight out of over 30 people arrested were brought before the magistrate.
According to her, “we were more than 30 that were arrested by the task force. The task force members after having s*x with some of the girls then released them. We are here because nobody came to get us out.”
It will be recalled that the s*x workers were arrested at various night clubs and red light zones within the territory.
The crack midnight operations carried out by a combined task force team of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and the Social Development Secretariat (SDS) were said to have resulted to the arrest of over 30 s*x workers and nude dancers.
However, the suspects’ protest did not stop the arraignment as the prosecution counsel, Barrister Eze Eze read the charges against the suspects before the magistrate who was already seated to hear the matter.
After reading the charges of dancing naked and causing public nuisance which the prosecution counsel said violated section 35 of the AEPB Act, four of the suspects pleaded guilty, while other four said they were not guilty of the offence.
The presiding Magistrate, Mrs. Idayat Akanni told the suspects, who pleaded guilty that the offences attract N5, 000 fine or six months imprisonment. Following a plea for mercy by the suspects, the magistrate reduced the fine to N3, 000 which they paid and regained their freedom.
And for those who pleaded not guilty, the court adjourned the matter till April 30th for further hearing, while she granted them bail in the sum of N10, 000 each and one surety in like sum.
Meanwhile, the Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Hajia Safiya Umar, though did not disclose what happened before some of the arrested s*x workers were illegally released by members of the task force, she admitted that there was a compromise that must be investigated and punished.
Umar noted that 32 girls were arrested at various red light zones in the city on Friday by the task force which she led in the operation, she expressed shock that her staff illegally released 27 without her approval.
“I must be honest with you, I have been very disappointed because we carried out the arrest 32 girls on Friday. My staff decided to give out 27 of them without my knowledge. When I got wind of that I ordered them to find and return the girls. Following that order, they went out on Saturday and arrested a different set of girls and mixed up with the remaining ones,” she lamented.