by Adeola Balogun
A man and his wife who were reported to be operating a brothel have been arrested by police in Oyo after they were suspected of harbouring underage prostitutes.
Temitope and Helen Falusi met their waterloo when their reported venue of operation, at the Sharp Corner Hotel in the Orita Aperin area of Ibadan, was invaded by operatives of the Anti-Human Trafficking section of the State Criminal Investigation Department.
Four girls were rescued from the brothel with 2 of them believed to be between the ages of 14 and 15.
The Tribune reports:
Briefing journalists on Friday at the police headquarters at Eleyele, Ibadan, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabawa said that the command received information that the woman and her husband were bringing the young girls from Benin, Edo State to her brothel in Ibadan for prostitution.
“Our detectives went to the brothel at about 5p.m. on Wednesday, February 26 and rescued the victims. They confessed that they were being exploited and made to sleep with different men for a fee, out of which they would pay Helen a fee as rent,” the commissioner said, adding that though the girls gave ages that were above 18, it was discernible that at least two of the four victims were below 18; with the age of the youngest put at 14 or 15 years.
Speaking with Crime Reports, Mr Falusi (45) from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State said: “I got married to Helen in 2007 and we have one daughter. She had been running the brothel before I married her but because of the love I have for her, and the fact that I didn’t have the wherewithal to change the business, I did not stop her. But I told her to heed the warning of the anti-human trafficking section of the CID that she should not harbour under-aged girls as sex workers.
“When the two girls said to be under-aged came on Sunday and Monday respectively, I noticed that they were young, so I told her to send them back to Benin. We were to send the girls back on Thursday when detectives came to arrest us on Wednesday evening. I don’t run the brothel but I am together with my wife. When the girls come around, they always tell us they are above 18 years.”
Edo-born Helen Falusi also stated that “I started the brothel in 2006. I rented the place and I operated a beer parlour along with the brothel. I don’t allow under-aged girls because of the warning handed over to me by detectives from State CID. Immediately the girls came and I saw they were young, I made up my mind to send them back to Edo State. They were sent to me by their people.
“I don’t collect the money they make from them. All I take is N1000 rent every Monday and if they don’t get customers, they beg me to bear with them. They usually know they are coming to ‘hustle’ because that is the question I always put across to them when they first arrive. They would reply that they are aware of what they are in Ibadan to do.
I was told I am 20 years old and I was given the name ‘Osas’ when I came to the brothel. My father is dead but my mother is in our village in Edo State. I came to Ibadan on Sunday. Back at the village, I went to a friend’s party where I met a young man. He asked if I was interested in travelling to the city and I answered in affirmative.
He never told me I was coming for prostitution; he said the person he would take me to runs a beer parlour. When I got to Ibadan on Sunday, February 23 and called the number I was given, someone came to pick me at the motor park. In the evening, I noticed that everyone was putting on skimpy dresses. I was told to go and take my bath and dress up in the skimpy dresses I was given but I did not. I could not even come outside. I slapped a young man who entered my room to have sex with me.
However, one man eventually slept with me and he gave me N1,500. Aunty Helen had already told me that I would be paying N1000 every Monday as rent fee. She also has a book where she writes what we make.