Joyce Samuel Chidema, a Nigerian living in Ghana, has appeared in court for allegedly recruiting three other Nigerian women to engage in prostitution.
Chidema is said to have taken these women to a shrine to swear an oath of loyalty to her and with a condition to free them, only if they pay her between GH¢700,000.00 and GH¢1 million.
The accused is facing 11 criminal charges including human trafficking, trade in prostitution, prohibition and procuration contrary to Section 107 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 20), failure to appear before an immigration officer on entering into Ghana and entering into Ghana through unapproved route.
She has, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and had been granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000.00. The trial court presided over by His Honour Samuel Bright Acquah, has adjourned the case for two weeks.
The case is being prosecuted by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO). According to EOCO, on October 17, 2022, the Human Trafficking Unit of the Economic and Organised Crime Office received intelligence that three Nigerian women had been trafficked to Ghana by another Nigerian woman.
It was established during investigation that it was Chidema who had trafficked these three women. Chidema had relocated to Ghana since January 2021 and was allegedly working as a prostitute as well as clothes dealer.
According to EOCO, she trafficked the women into Ghana to exploit their vulnerability of being unemployed. Chidema facilitated their travel expenses to Ghana as well as housing them.
She also took them to a Shrine, where they were made to swear loyalty to her before inducing them into prostitution.
The victims were compelled by Chidema to make daily sales of GH¢80.00 to GH¢120.00 to her, as proceeds of their prostitution.
It was narrated to the court that Chidema told the three women that the only way to gain their freedom from her, was to work and pay her between GH¢700,000.0 and GH¢1,000,000.00.
It was based on these findings that Chidema was arrested and brought before the court. The court was, however, informed that the victims have been freed.