By Emeka Odogwu
About one hundred and twenty (120) pretty ladies alleged to be prostitutes were arrested in various cities of Anambra State by various police detachments over the weekend, South-East Voice has learnt. Some men allegedly patronising them were arrested too.
Some were allegedly arrested by Special Anti-Cult Squad, others by Special Anti-Robbery Squad and others by conventional policemen.
According to our source in the police circle who would not want to be mentioned, the police raided Morning Star Hotel, Amawbia, Awka South Council Area, arresting about 20 people – men and women- at about 8:30 pm Saturday and whisked them away.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammadu Haruna could not answer several calls to his phone on Sunday evening and throughout Monday but an officer not permitted to speak to the press confirmed it but could not give details.
The source further said that on Sunday, the police raided Happiness Hotel, in front of Amanwayi, Amawbia at about 12 noon, arresting about six women alleged to be prostitutes.
South-East Voice learnt that the police as well allegedly had earlier raided Dot4 Hotel, Mgbakwu and Bolin Hotel Nise, as well as another hotel in Ogidi, Idemili North Council Area, the name was not ascertained as at press time, where they arrested over 60 men and women.
There were other raids allegedly at Amansea, Umunze, Onitsha and Ihiala butSouth-East Voice was unable to get details of such raids but our source said the raid was across board by the police.
Though our source was in support of the raids as it would help reduce the increasing rise of HIV/AIDS in the state, he was unhappy the suspects were only raided and bailed with N10,000 each and they returned to the business, decrying that police have used such raids for money-making rather than corrective measures to deter others from indulging in such.
‘’Some arrested were not prostitutes but guests in the hotel, others were playing Snookers, others playing Tennis but they were all arrested as prostitutes and patronisers, but the policemen patronise them most. I told the policemen that what they were doing was wrong as they raid them every other month yet, they return to the business after bailing themselves with N10,000.”
He said the police came in a bus and pick up van and loaded the suspects some of whom were in casual wears and others in outfits not related to prostitution, an indication they were on another mission, may be relaxation.
Sex workers had protested demolition of their shanties along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway by Governor Willie Obiano-led government even as Dr John Ndibe, former Anambra State Action Committee on AIDS, ANSACA boss, had said there were 618 prostitution spots in Anambra State. Former Governor Peter Obi had ordered the shutting down of the the spots during his term in office.
When South-East Voice visited Happiness Hotel and Morning Star, the news was confirmed but nobody wanted to speak on tape about the incident. However, Uchenna Ike said her uncle who went to play snooker escaped arrest and narrated the incident to them.