Personnel of Abia State Police Command have reportedly carried out massive raiding of hotels and brothels in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State.
Efforts to know the reason for the raids from the Aba Area Commander, ACP Peter Okpara proved abortive as he was said to have gone for a course outside the state.
A police source in Aba Area Command who chose to speak anonymously told our reporter that the raid was on the orders of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Ene Okon following an intelligence report.
Some of the managers and owners of the brothels who would not want their names mentioned said that they were surprised and embarrassed with the way the police personnel according to them invaded their business premises.
“To say that we are embarrassed is the least. The invasion of our business premises took us unawares because we have been cooperating with the police and where we suspected some customers reasonably, we do alert the police, but the way that they came about this their operation is not correct.
“I learnt that there are people that are still in their custody as at the last time that I made some contacts,” a brothel owner narrated.
A man who gave his name as Fidelis while narrating how he narrowly escaped being arrested said that he had gone into a brothel for a bottle of drink with his friends because they could not afford the price of drinks in a nearby hotel said “Not everyone that visits brothel is there to have sex with a prostitute.
“We have been going there for a very long time. Police do come there to collect title from the owner. On that fateful day when they came, I had only gone behind the yard to urinate while my friends were inside drinking. It was when I was returning that I saw policemen coming out from the rooms with the prostitutes. Sensing danger, I quickly turned to take cover.
“When I managed to find my way to the front, I saw my friends and the prostitutes being moved into the police waiting patrol van. I learnt that they repeated the raiding the next day and also arrested some persons as well. It was sudden and we are yet to know why they raided the brothel. I am yet to go back there to find out why the place was raided. May be, they are looking for some persons, but what baffles me is that they (Police) also raided other brothels and hotels as well.”
When contacted, the State Police Commissioner, CP Ene Okon confirmed the raids in a telephone interview with our reporter.
According to Okon, a notorious armed robber and other eight suspects found with cocaine were arrested in a hotel in Aba during the raid.
He said that they had already profiled and released other suspects, stating that the eight suspects including the notorious armed robber who was later discovered to be a senior member of dreaded Osisikankwu (the notorious armed robber that once terrorized Aba and its environs with his gang, including the kidnap of 15 school children) have been charged to court.
“I was the one that ordered the raiding of every brothel because of the intelligence that I received.
“We have the information that most of these robbers after robbing go to hotels to sleep and also visit brothels to patronize these prostitutes.
“Last week, policemen from my Crack Squad raided a hotel where we arrested a notorious armed robber who said that he is Osisikankwu junior was arrested in a hotel in Aba.
“Some of the people that he robbed over time have come and identified him. They confirmed that he was the person that robbed them. Raiding hotels is a crime prevention and detection strategy.
“After profiling, those suspects that nothing incriminating was found on them were released unconditionally, but if anything incriminating was found on anyone, they would be charged to court.
“About eight of the people arrested with something incriminating have been charged to court this morning in Aba. The eight persons charged to court were found to be in possession of cocaine.”