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A Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court, sitting in Anambra State, on Thursday ordered the remand of one Mrs Ekpereamaka Okonkwo, 39 years, and her husband, Mr. Okechukwu Okonkwo, 36 years, in prison for allegedly prostituting minors.
The Eastern Updaes recalls that Ekpereamaka was last week arrested after her brothel was busted by youth of Oba community in Idemili North Local Government Area, for using underage girls for prostitution.
She, however managed to escaped to Asaba, Delta State, and later sent her husband, Okechukwu, 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.
Obinabo, who played along, accepted the money and asked her husband to bring her for settlement, but Ekpereamaka was arrested when she showed up.
The charge, which was read to the defendants during yesterday’s court sitting at the Magistrate Court, Awka, included committing official corruption, prevention of course of justice and procurement of about five underage girls for prostitution purposes in Oba.
Their offences were said to be punishable under section 495 (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol II, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991.
The Media Assistant to Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Children’s Welfare, Miss Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, who monitored the court sitting told journalists that the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the nine charges preferred against them.
‘They were, however ordered to be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Awka, and Onitsha respectively, while the case was adjourned further to July 12, for ruling on bail application,’ Ikeanyionwu said.
About nine girls that comprised of three girls aged 13, and some others not older than 19 were found in Ekpereamaka’s brothel.
Obinabo said that she is still on the lookout for the girls, so that they could be properly rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society.