My Day at the Police Station!
Last week, we had a young 13 year old girl show up at the gate of Grace Gardens. She banged on the door and begged us for help. Turns out, she was sold to the neighbors as a house girl and she has been being beaten, kept filthy, and other abuses I won’t mention here.
So, we called the office of the Commissioner of Women’s and Children’s affairs and reported the situation. They told us to keep the girl and they would handle the investigation. So, we did just that. Our neighbors called the police on us on Saturday and accused us of stealing their property. I talked to the police over the phone and thought that we had calmed everything down. On Wednesday, I found out I had not.
On Wednesday, I was preparing to head to Grace Gardens when I got a phone call from the houseparents telling me that the police where there waiting for me. So, I called John to meet me at the house and then I headed over. When I got there, I found that they had left, but had left a note telling me to head to the police station.
I headed over with John and David, our staff member. When I walked in, I realized I knew the people behind the counter! Turns out, one of the brothels was raided earlier in the week and I knew all of the people arrested from that brothel. I right away thought this isn’t going to help me look innocent when I know all the guilty people in this place, but the good news is, if they arrested me, I would already know my cell mates!
I met with an investigator who listened to my side of the story and then I was led to the reporting room where I had to write out my statement on a form with the heading, “Statement of the Accused!”
When I handed my statement to the officer, she read it and then pointed to a lady sitting behind me and said, “That is your neighbor!” I turned around just as John whispered, “Awkward!”
We were all taken back up to the investigator office as I still tried to figure out if I was going to jail or not. The investigator sat us all down and listened to the neighbor tell her story with a straight face that did not betray her feelings. Then she pointed to a calendar on the wall with a picture of a woman who turned out to be the Commissioner of Women and Children’s Affairs. She let all of us know that she knows the Commissioner very well because she was just at her office for a training course on how to spot and react to human trafficking.
She then informed my neighbor that what she was doing with this girl is human trafficking and she had better find the woman who sold her the girl so that she can be prosecuted rather than herself being prosecuted! She lectured her about how bitter the commissioner is about the way children are being treated in Nigeria and then told here that Grace Gardens is doing good trying to stop this horrible human trafficking and she should not bother us again! Praise God for this Commissioner who is a strong believer and passionate about helping women and children and thank God she is doing training.
After that little victory, I then looked at my neighbor and said, “We are heading back to Grace Gardens, would you like a ride?” She accepted and off we went! Life is never boring in Nigeria!