A suspected child trafficker, Ekpereamaka Okonkwo, who runs a brothel alongside her husband in Oba community, in the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, has been apprehended.
Okonkwo was arrested by the Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in collaboration with the Anambra State Police Command on Tuesday.
Okonkwo, a nursing mother, recently had her brothel shut down by youths of the Oba community, where about nine underage girls serving as prostitutes were rescued.
The suspect went into hiding when the State Government, through the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, led a team of security agents to arrest her.
Obinabo later confirmed on Tuesday that Okonkwo and her husband have been arrested.
The commissioner said: “When she heard we were looking for her, she reached out to us through her husband, asking that she wanted to give me some money to water the ground.
“I called the governor and told him of the development. I also called the police, and they urged me to play along with them. They later asked me to come to Asaba, where the woman’s husband offered me N300,000 as part payment.
“I insisted that the woman also come, and she was later brought to a hotel to meet me. She promised that she would be making monthly returns to me. Later, security men came out and arrested her.”
Obinabo said Mrs Ekpereamaka Okonkwo would be charged in court and prosecuted for using teenage girls for prostitution.
She added that Okonkwo, who hails from Otolo Nnewi, was previously operating in Nnewi, where she was known as “Madam Padded.”
She operated facilities where underage girls were forced into sex slavery in Nnewi and later relocated to Oba after three of her girls died in the facility in a fire incident.
In Oba, she took up the name “Ukwu Venza,” where nine girls, including three girls aged 13 years, were found to be working as prostitutes.