“ It was very painful when we started. Everyday we slept with an average of twenty men for N500.00 each and, because we were young and new, men would line up and wait for us till about 12 midnight when the hotel closes and then ‘Chairlady’ will come in and collect the money and, since she used to count the condoms she was giving us, if you did not give her all the money, she will beat you mercilessly”, Patience said.
The girls said Abigail had male aides who searched their rooms and their bodies at the close of work each day to ensure they had not hidden any money and, if any money was found with them, they would be beaten up. They said Abigail, on arrival in Calabar, having collected their phones, did not allow any of them to step outside the alleged brothel for fear that they might run away and that, two of them, Angela and Charity, who attempted to escape, were severely beaten by the woman and her male friends. “ When I tried to run away, she brought a soldier and a policeman who were her friends who beat me up and poured tear gas in my eyes and, because of that, I became very sick and could not stand up for many days”, Angela recounted.
Meanwhile, Abigail, who claimed to be from Ebonyi State, said her arrest by operatives from Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of Cross River State Police Command was due to jealously. She said she was not the one who brought the girls to Calabar. She has since been charged to court for alleged kidnapping and engaging in prostitution.