To the uninformed, Oba junction near Onitsha, which leads to Nnewi, the acclaimed ‘Japan of Africa’, along the Onitsha- Owerri expressway in Anambra State, is a mere stop-over relaxation spot for mainly drivers of heavy-duty trucks and trailers on long distance travels. This explains the concentration of makeshift shops and drinking joints competing for space on both sides of the road.
But behind the façade of eating and drinking, is a big sex market that would make the biblical people of Sodom and Gomorrah green with envy. Here, sex sells like hot bean cake. The shops serve dual purposes – the front serves as food and drink joints while the back serves as a brothels. Some of the female shop owners display only television sets for movies and offer their bodies for sale.
As Sunday Sun correspondent alighted from the car this cool evening, a lady in a tight red top barely concealing her bosoms stood up from a plastic chair to welcome him and a colleague. Posing as the storeowner, the visitors looked forward to being invited to sit down and make their orders for the delicacies on display. But surprisingly, they soon discovered that her body was the product on sale.
Encounter with ‘merciless’ Mercy
In the conversation that ensued, the lady who introduced herself as Mercy and a Urhobo from neighbouring Delta State, told her guests that she has ‘no mercy’ for men when it comes to sex because she could guarantee maximum satisfaction that could make the client beg for more. Shaking her bosoms provocatively and rubbing her body on this correspondent, she said she was ready for the night’s business once the fee was settled.
Mercy assured that for N1000, her client was guaranteed maximum touching and sucking of bosoms and the main treat. Pointing at the next shop, she said: “That is where I lodge. My room is the one behind the shop and you will like it when we enter. I can also take two of you at the same time.”
The guests soon disengaged themselves on the pretext that they wanted to take some drinks to enable them get in the mood. By this time, darkness had set in but the lights from passing vehicles, lanterns and electricity from few shops with generating sets provided visibility. Both sides of the road had been taken over by prostitutes in several shades and forms. Some stood by the cabin of the parked vehicles, for customers, others strolled along the road while some others stayed in front of the shops, beckoning on male passers-by.
The spectacle became more interesting and captivating at the main junction leading to Nnewi. Young girls between 13 and 18 years openly hawked their bodies on the main road. Some held their clients tight, kissing and wriggling their waists behind the parked vehicles. One of them who identified herself as Chiamaka from Obollo Afor, picked offence when the reporter asked her how business was going. She retorted: “I take exception to that statement. This is not business; it is rather a game. You can call it catching fun or playing games. It’s just like I play with you and you appreciate me for being a good player or a good dancer, that’s all. Please don’t call it business.”
Chiamaka who would not be drawn into explaining why at her age, she came all the way from Obollo Afor in Enugu State for prostitution, said that on a very good day, she could take up to 20 men and that she collects a minimum of N500 for ‘short time’ service.
The pregnant prostitutes’ corner
At a section of the sex market, Sunday Sun noticed several heavily pregnant prostitutes who despite their protruding bellies, are dressed in seductive wears competing for clients.
One of them, who introduced herself as Chy Chy, stated that some men prefer them to those not pregnant. The pregnant sex hawker, who later collected N400 from the reporter, said that she also belonged to the category of women who get high on sex while pregnant. Asked about what would become of her baby after delivery, she dropped another shocker when she said that the unborn baby was already penciled for sale.
“I enjoy sex only when I’m pregnant. If I’m not in this state, I only do it for the money but when I’m pregnant, I gain on both sides because you will pay me for my service and I will also get high when you touch me. There are men who look for our type and it suits us that way. As for my baby, what is your business about that? Well, if you must know, this is the third pregnancy and I sold the previous two for N80, 000 and N120, 000 respectively. Prospective buyers are already waiting for this one (touching her belly) and na so e go be”, she said.
Inside the hotel
Further checks by Sunday Sun reporter later revealed that the main prostitution dish is served in a hotel close to the junction.
The hotel (name witheld), it is a gateway to uncontrolled illicit sex and debauchery. With several semi-Unclad girls and boys high on marijuana milling around the entrance of the hotel, the first hint of what to expect, occurred inside a patent medicine store located near the gate of the hotel. It took the chemist owner about 20 minutes to attend to the reporter’s request for N20 worth of Vitamin C tablets because of a long queue of people buying sex-related items.
A young man jumped the queue and apparently borrowing slang from the lyrics of popular artist, Flavor, he told the chemist in Igbo: “Oga doc, biko nyem ifem na eri kam puo (Doctor, please give me what I eat, and let me move out of here).”
As he spoke, he stepped aside to puff on a wrap of Indian hemp in his hands. Later, the reporter asked the storeowner what he meant, and he pointed at a particular brand of latex condom that he described as the man’s favourite. Within minutes, the ladies and men on queue bought several kinds of condoms, energizer tablets and different types of aphrodisiacs and moved into the hotel where a bevy of women and men in high spirit, danced to another music track by Flavour, “Kpuchie, jayie”, booming from the giant speakers mounted in the open arena.
On the left side of the entrance, there was a circle of seductive women in different types of make-up, who displayed their perfumed bodies and bikinis barring all their body contours. Two of the hawkers rushed at the reporter and his colleague, giving them an unsolicited embrace, and introduced themselves as the queens of the lodge. One of them said: “Come and you will see a unique intimate style you’ve never seen before. We have Liberian girls, Ghanaian girls, Cotonou babes, Dubai girls, etc. As the visitors pretended to be scanning the rooms before making their choices, one of the girls declared: “I’m Isabella from Liberia, you will like my service.”
It was later gathered that a round of sex with a Liberian attracts N7000, Ghanaians go for N4000 while it costs N2500 to have it with a Nigerian.
Reacting to our reporter’s feigned protest of the high cost of sex in the brothel, a young man who sat in a corner of the hall drinking and smoking said: “Don’t mind them. They looked at your fresh body and nice clothes and thought that you are loaded. That is how they make money from new comers. We are old in the game and I want to let you know that a round here is N500 but when you need all-night service, it’s N2500. There is no classification here because we are regular customers and we know them. Forget that they told you that they are from abroad; all of them are Igbo and Delta.”
As if the girls noticed that the newcomers had been inducted, Isabella who had introduced herself as a Liberian suddenly started speaking Igbo language as they settled down to a table.
In this hotel, wearing of pants is unofficially prohibited. All the prostitutes wore petty coats and tiny skirts in a sagging form showing their butts without pants. Smoking of marijuana both inside and outside the gate is also legalized. A woman sells fast foods like noodles garnished with tomato sauce inside the brothel while the resident barman doubles as the house DJ, supplying eardrum-threatening music. Two armed men on army camouflage who smoked and drank endlessly provide security to the hotel that has three sections, A, B and C, all streaming with clients for short time services.
Free wife for a guest
One of the hawkers suddenly tapped our reporter’s colleague, rested her head on his shoulder and addressed him as her husband. She was the only one wearing denim trouser that night, and she explained that she didn’t want to expose her legs. Suddenly, she stood up, unzipped her trousers unashamedly revealing her pubic hairs and announced that she was Unclad inside. She said she was a student in Port Harcourt but came to the hotel for brief business. The other lady that sat with Sunday Sun reporter and his colleague said that she could take N400 for ‘short time’ but in some cases, charge as high as N4000 for sex without condom