News: Academy Of Prostitutes

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Subject: News: Academy Of Prostitutes
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Jan 15 1999 - 14:25:32 EST


Academy Of Prostitutes
Tempo (Nigeria), January 14, 1999

Lagos - A communications company runs an Italian language school for only
females desirous of emigrating to Italy for commercial sex work. Reports by
Bamidele Johnson and Gloria Okafor.

House No. 73, Yaya Abatan Street, Ogba, Lagos, does not strike the visitor
as different from any other house in the neighbourhood. The one storey
structure with its fading coat of cream paint, however, stands out. Its
distinguishing feature is a never ebbing stream of women of various shapes,
sizes and ages.

Mostly light in complexion and trendily dressed in a somewhat trampy
manner, the girls are students of an Italian language programme run by
ELTECH, a telecommunications outfit. The ultimate goal, TEMPO learnt, is a
sojourn in Italy. Curiously, the language school has no sign-post
advertising its linguistic services and it is not coeducational as it
admits only females. When the magazine first visited the house, there was a
flat denial of the existence of an Italian language school in the building.

Subsequent visits, however, yielded information on the existence of such a
school. According to a source in the house, the women who are there are
desirous of emigrating to Italy. Some of them live in the building while
others come from their various homes. The school is said to be owned by a
wealthy Igbo man who resides in Italy.

The school is run by his brother, Romanus Amadi, a.k.a. Prince, who hails
from Orlu, Imo State. The admission requirement into the school is the
ability to pay N40,000, about $500. This sum, TEMPO learnt, is the cost of
learning the Italian language, learning how to deal with officious
immigration officials at points of entry as well as comportment in Italy.
Sources gave an insight into the workings of the place. It was said that
Romanus Amadi is usually available in the school between 6 and 6.30 p.m. It
was further explained that Amadi is normally busy as he has a shoal of
visitors, mostly girls eyeing the Italian adventure waiting to see him.

It was also revealed that the school currently has about 50 girls on its
register. A top official of the institution confessed early in the week
that business had not been easy because of what he called regular
harassment by law enforcement agents.

The official admitted that huge sums of money is regularly made available
to the school management to pacify law enforcement agents. According to
investigations, N350,000 was recently paid to the law enforcement agents
for protection.

An aspiring traveller to Italy is expected to produce an evidence of
sponsorship for the flight ticket as well as visa procurement for the trip.
For an intending immigrant without any accommodation prospect, the language
school provides an accommodation that is organised by Amadi's brother in
Italy.

The girls are expected to work for months and pay for the services rendered
by the language school that facilitated their passage to Italy. They could
then become free agents after payment.

They might also emigrate to other European countries. Further
investigations revealed that the language school draws most of its students
from Edo and Delta girls.

Many girls, the sources claimed, have through ELTECH made successful trips
to the warmer economic climes of Italy and other countries in Europe. The
source further adds that the school has a branch somewhere beside Avis
Petrol Station in the Aguda area of Ogba, a suburb of Lagos.

The officials of the language school insist that the institutions is about
legal business but rumours are rife that there is more to this claim. Its
policy of admitting only females raises suspicions on the ultimate goal of
the training in the institution.

The tribe of those who feel that the final destination of the products of
the school is the red right districts of Europe is expanding. The continued
payment of N350,000 to law enforcement agents by the language school seems
to give the suspicion of clandestine activities more flesh.

Melanie Orhant

Co-Director
Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590
Email: morhant@igc.org
www.globalsurvival.net


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