BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disclosed that there are no enabling laws, at the moment, to curb the activities of commercial sex workers and beggars in the nation’s capital.
Briefing newsmen on the activities of the secretariat in Abuja yesterday, acting secretary, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Irene Adebola Elegbede noted that the existing laws against prostitution in the territory is not enough to deter women from commercial sex activities.
“There is a law that deals with the issue of prostitution in the FCT. So, when they are arrested and taken to the mobile court, but the penalty for the offence is often too meager. They are made to pay as little as N2, 000 for the offence.
Initially, the charge was N500, but recently it was increased to N2, 000. And you will find out that at the end of the day, none of the arrested prostitutes will be taken to the prison to serve as deterrent. So the next day they are back on the streets again.”
Elegbede pointed out that the situation is also compounded by some human rights groups, lawyers and individuals who often intervene for the release of these commercial sex workers any time they are arrested by the secretariat.
“The commercial sex workers work in a cartel, because several times when we pick them, several human rights groups, lawyers and others will start begging us to release them, saying that they are their clients.”
Also speaking, the acting director, social welfare department of the secretariat, Mrs. Felicia Nwogu revealed that many beggars in the nation’s capital are brought in from others states and dumped n the FCT.
Nwogu added that there is a cartel of people who sponsor these children to the FCT to beg, because they believe that Abuja is a city for everybody and nobody can stop them.
She continued; “I think if we agree as citizens to stop this there will be no business.
If you stop giving there will no business. If you stop patronizing the commercial sex workers, there will be no business, because business only thrives when there is a patronage.”