At 2 am on the 3rd of June, 2011, Abimbola Ojo, a female corper had just emerged from a friend’s birthday party in Wuse 2. She stood on the road and hailed a cab, ostensibly looking for a ride home. As she negotiated with the cab driver for the fare, she suddenly found herself in the air. An unknown man had lifted her and was carrying her in the direction of an un-marked vehicle.
Her immediate reaction was that she was being kidnapped. So she yelled and screamed and kicked. Crying for help. Her friend, Miriam Olofu was the first to react. But the abduction was too quick. No one could prevent Abimbola from being dumped in the waiting bus and driven off into the night.
Miriam got in her SUV and trailed the bus. About eight other friends got in their cars and followed as well. While in pursuit, Miriam picked up her cell phone and called someone she knew. It was the District Police Officer (DPO) of the Garki district. She didn’t know where these unknown men were taking her friend and she was calling for help. What started as a fun night had suddenly turned into a nightmare.
In the unmarked bus, Ms. Ojo would find herself in the company of some other women. One of them was naked. Her clothes had been ripped off her body, violently. Ms. Ojo was informed that she was a prostitute and she had been apprehended by a task force under the Abuja Environmental Protection Board. Despite having her NYSC identity card on her and protesting her innocence, Ms. Ojo’s captors would have none of it. The bus load of distressed and protesting women were driven to the AEPB Compound in Area 3, Abuja.
At the AEPB Compound in Area 3, aided by gun-totting mobile police men, the task force violently offloaded these women and barricaded them in a room. Just twenty minutes after leaving a birthday party, Ms. Abimbola Ojo would find herself in one of the most humiliating circumstances of her entire life.
A bunch of her friends would soon arrive, led by Miriam. Having established that this wasn’t a bunch of faceless kidnappers, but men who were under the pay of her own government, they would proceed to walk up to them, bravely and boldly protesting their friend’s innocence. It would prove costly. They were immediately beaten and slapped and their car tires were slashed.
They were also detained, and prostitution charges were slammed on them.
Soon after, the DPO arrived at the AEPB compound with his men. What followed wasn’t a peaceful, gentlemanly resolution of the problem. According to Ms. Ojo, the mobile police men attached to the AEPB began to shoot indiscriminately, inflicting a few injuries. This stand off did not resolve the issue and Ms. Ojo and her friends were held in the compound into the next day.
During their detention, their captors would proceed to worsen their humiliation. One by one, each woman was threatened to confess that she was a prostitute or be taken straight to the prison in Suleja. To make matters worse, a plastic table was brought in, condoms were poured on the table and journalists were invited to take pictures with these, now powerless, women portrayed as prostitutes.
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that Inman Park Restaurant Week is returning in September! I participated in the one last March and had one of the best meals of my life at Kevin Rathbun Steak. So good! This is the perfect excuse to try some of the best restaurants in ATL without…
“Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.”—