Exposed! Girl,14, Reveals How Mistress Allegedly Turned Catholic Property to Brothel In Ebonyi
… It’s not true, she was bribed to lie against me- Mistress
14-year-old Nkwete Ogechi, from Nsokara Effium, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi State, has revealed how her mistress, Mrs. Ann Udu allegedly turned Catholic Church building under her care into a brothel.
Ogechi, an orphan who is currently under the custody of the state ministry of Women Affairs has been living with the woman for two years now at Night of St. John Okpugwu Abakaliki.
She narrated how her madam was mistreating her together with one of her sons who on one occasion gave her a thunderous slap that left one of her ears partially blocked.
Ogechi said that she only goes to school after the first subject must have ended and while going, she moves along with a tray full of corn jellof (agidi), which she is expected to finish selling before coming back home in the evening.
She said when they are on break, she had to start selling the agidi and wouldn’t go back to the classroom again to study.
The teenager also narrated that the Night of St. John Okpugwu where she was living with her mistress is a Catholic Church building with a large compound which was handed over to her madam to take care of.
The building has rooms where those who came for any Catholic function since the main church building is close by, can stay.
Revealing that Mrs. Udu allegedly turned the place to a brothel where men can come with ladies and pass hours or even sleep overnight depending.
She said that spending an hour at the place costs 1000 and it keeps increasing with the number of hours a customer intends to stay.
She claimed the money is being paid to her mistress directly and after the customers have finished making use of the rooms, she (Ogechi) would be asked to go and arrange the rooms
She confessed that on one occasion, while arranging the room, one of the customers had sex with her.
Ogechi said she reported the incident to her boss who told her not to mind the man that he was drunk.
She said after abusing her the man still comes to the place yet the madam has not confronted him.
Noting that right there in the compound, those who came to drink smoke marijuana and after, she would be asked to pick the leftovers.
She said the President of Catholic Women Organization who was asked to be taking care of the property always visits the place and her madam always asks her (ogechi) to lock the gate to avoid the woman having access to the main building.
She said during the day, the place wears a responsible outlook, but at night a lot of indecent activities go on there.
The last straw that broke the camels back was when the woman’s goat allegedly went missing and ogechi was chased out of the house and was allegedly warned not come back home unless she finds the goat.
It was in the process she was picked up by a lawyer who took her to the state ministry of Women affairs, Child Abuse department.
Her words: “My mistress chased me out of the house because her goat ran away. She said I should not enter the house if I did not get the goat back to the house. I have been looking for this goat, there was a time I came into the house to drink water and she lambasted me and asked ‘has our goat drank water that I also want to drink water?’. She refused to allow me inside the house.
“This thing happened on 18th July this year. We are living at Night of St. John, Low Cost-Okpaugwu.
“My madam’s name is sister Ann Udu, she is from Arochukwu Abia state but married to an Ngbo man, Ohaukwu LGA. She cooks food, and that place belongs to the Catholic Church. it was handed over to her to be taking care of. That place was built for weddings or other ceremonial purposes but she turned it to a place where all manner of people lodge with men, women, and girls.
“Each time the woman who gave her that place to be taking care of comes, she will quickly ask me to rush and lock the rooms so that she will not notice that people lodge there. People lodge at upstairs of the building.
“What happened to me in this my eyes was that her son beat me up one night I was resting after attending to customers. He asked me what I was waiting for before packing chairs and tables used by customers and immediately gave me slap and kicked me with legs and I fell down. My madam was watching everything and could not talk. When he was slapping me, I lost my sight as everywhere became so dark to me.
“I also lost my hearing due to the slap he gave me. I was bleeding through one of my ears as a result of the slap and now can’t hear well. I can’t also see well, I can’t see at all if I am reading with electricity. Customers complained a lot about my condition and madam took me to a nearby patent medicine shop(Chemist) for treatment and I was wearing eyeglass for two weeks.
“My madam always asks me to dress the rooms and beds for customers but one of the customers met me in a room upstairs and had sex with me and I didn’t like it at all. I complained to my madam and she told me to leave the person that he was drunk. I don’t know whether she is the one that usually sends customers to meet me upstairs and have sex with me while dressing the rooms because of the way she always take my complaints.
” My madam always stay downstairs from where she usually send me to upstairs to tidy the rooms and beds for customers and it is only me that usually tidy the rooms.
“After customers leave, my madam will tell me to go and pick used condoms, clean the rooms and prepare them for other.
“While serving people like giving them drinks or taking foods they demanded to them, those people will be touching my bottom and pressing my breast. If I get angry because of it and sat down, they will shout at me why I refused to serve them and my madam will descend on me and beat me up.
“Customers usually smoke hemp in the compound, Men of State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), of the state Police command usually raid our place. They used to arrest the customers that it is a church building and was not built for immorality. These customers are usually released after sometimes in detention and my madam would always tell me that it is a must that I pick the remnants of the hemps and each day I refused to do it, I will receive punishment for it.
“She actually enrolled me in school; Urban Model Secondary School, Okpaugwu very close to where we live. I am in JSS 2, I must finish every work in the house before I go to school which is usually around 9:am or 10:am and when I go late to school, they will beat me mercilessly for coming late.
“There is no single day that I don’t miss one or two subjects in my class because of going to school late and my madam usually give me corn Jellof known as (agidi) to sell in the school. During break time, I sell the agidi and miss the rest of the subjects for the day in my class.
“I attend school two or three times in a week, I have never attended school five times in a week as it supposed to be since I started living with my madam two years ago. Any time I came back late from school in the process of selling the agidi for her, she will give me various punishments; she will ask me to walk with my knees from our entrance gate to the house or lie down on the ground and crawl inside or she will beat me up and order me to immediately begin my work in the house. After the work, I will not know how to tell her that I am hungry so that she will give me food because she is usually angry and will beat me if I talk to her. I eat food twice a day.
My mom and my dad are no more alive, it was my step-brother Cornelius Nkwede that asked my madam to adopt me. Any time I want to go back to my village since my madam don’t treat me well, she will call my step-brother who usually come and beat me up. He used to tell me while beating me up that I should be ashamed of myself that my father and mother are no more alive and I see somebody that takes care of me and I am planning to return home. My parents died in 2015 when I was in primary school.
In her reaction, the mistress, Mrs. Ann Udu denied all allegations against her
She claimed the rooms in the buildings in question are all without windows and curtains and that the building is yet to be completed.
Mrs. Udu admitted that Ogechi was her maid, but added that her neighbour Instigated the girl against her, adding it was the same neighbour that asked Ogechi to run away.
She said ogechi was with the woman for one week and when she, (Ann) couldn’t find her, she just told a police officer who comes around to drink, but never lodged any official complaint.
Ann said she was later told that Ogechi was with her neighbour, after reporting the matter to a member of Neighbourhood Watch Security outfit in Ebonyi who assisted in the search.
She said it was Ogechi that even came on her own, and when her children wanted to chase her out, she called her back, asked her some questions and after seeing she had no where to go, the madam now took her in.
On whether she sends the girl to arrange bed for customers who bring in girls or women there, she said no, that such thing was not done there.
She admitted to asking Ogechi to be picking the remains of cigarettes because according to her, people come around to drink and they smoke at the process though she is not the one selling the hemp.
“She has to clean the place for it to be neat. People come around to drink and it’s expected that in the morning everywhere will be swept.
“My dear, its better you come and see for yourself. This place has no window, it has no curtain. It is owned by the Church and has not even been completed. I sell food and drinks here.
Ogechi was my maid but my neighbour urged her to ran away from me, that I was maltreating her. She held Ogechi for one good week and I started looking for her everywhere. I made several announcements to people that I was looking for her, at the end someone who is living in that my neighbour’s compound told me that Ogechi was in her house.
“I did not go to the police to announce that Ogechi was missing but there is this policeman who usually comes here to drink who I reported the matter to and he told me that he would inform his colleagues to assist in looking for Ogechi.
“I also told one guy who is one of the leaders of Ebonyi state Neighbourhood Security Watch and he promised to assist in looking for the girl, everybody was looking for Ogechi not knowing that it was my neighbour that hid her.
“It is almost a month that Ogechi is missing. I did not adopt the girl, she just walked up to me that she wants to live with me. This thing is a long story” she added.
On her part, Mrs. Elom Cecilia in charge of child abuse in the Ministry said the matter was brought to them by a lawyer.
Adding: “The matter concerning Ogechi was brought to the Ministry by one Lawyer who wrote to the Ministry about the abuse on the child. We only invited the woman for questioning, I went to deliver an invitation letter to her which she refused to receive from me. She told me that she doesn’t have any maid, that I should go and bring the person I mean she was maltreating.
“I went back the second day with the Lawyer that wrote to us together with the child. On seeing her, the daughter we met confirmed her by even calling her name. Along the line, Mrs. Udu came the next day to the ministry with an unknown man who came and said he would slap me.
“The man told me that I shouldn’t have invited Mrs. Udu, that Ogechi is not a good girl. They went back after that day and came back few days later with few men. After narrating the whole thing to the men Mrs. Udu brought back to the ministry, they saw that the woman did not behave well, they blamed her for not honoring our invitation.
“I told them that we are still investigating and the child herself sustained so many injuries and we should take her to the hospital to certify her health before any other thing. The people said they were leaving and will get back to us and later left. But up till now, I have not seen the woman again.
“In the hospital where we took her to, it is confirmed that she was sexually abused and physically you are seeing it; the eye and the ear. The action we are going to take is first her health, she has been undergoing series of test after which we refer the matter to the police because it is the police that investigate criminal matter. But for now, she is in our custody and we have been taken care of her.
Also, the Head of Department, Child Development of the state Ministry of Women Affairs Mr. Godwin Igwe, said Ogechi ’s case was reported to the Commissioner of the Ministry, Mrs. Rebecca Ogbuewu for necessary action.
Adding: “The letter was minuted to me to treat the matter and then I had to minute the letter to the Child Abuse Desk Officer, Mrs. Cecilia Elom and it is a convention that when a matter is reported to the ministry, we will like to hear from both parties.
“So, the Child abuse desk officer wrote an invitation to the accused person but she came back to tell the Ministry that the accused person refused to receive the invitation rather gave condition without which she wouldn’t receive the invitation letter and then insisted that she should produce the victim otherwise she wouldn’t accept the letter. That was observed for the sake of peace and justice.
“Surprisingly to me, when I went to Imo state to recover a child from the state sold in the area, I heard that instead of the woman coming to the Ministry to tell her own side of the story, she brought six men to terrorize the ministry and harass the schedule officer into fear so that she will not carry out her duty diligently.
“This case has criminal aspect and also health aspect and our duty is to ensure the survival of the victim and that is why we have referred the case to Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki 1(FETHA1). We wrote to the Chief Medical Director to direct that Doctors should conduct a medical examination on the girl.
“She will also go to FETHA 2 to see a consultant ophthalmologist for the case of her eyes because she has hearing and visual impairment. At a glance, you will see that one of the eyes is small, reduced to a large extent and you don’t need to go to Lab before you will see that one of the eyes is so small that it is only by Divine grace that she is seeing with it.
“This act of Child abuse, maltreatment, dehumanization shouldn’t be seen in a civilized society like this because Ebonyi state is not a banana republic. This girl has been subjected to modern day profligacy and moral laxity which to a large extent will affect her future”.