Cross River State Government said it has demolished a brothel in Calabar for harbouring underage girls.
The government also said it has pulled down a building belonging to a suspected kidnapper in the state.
The demolitions were carried out by the state security outfit, Operation Akpakwu, which is made up of the Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Police, Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Governor Ben Ayade’s special advisers on security.
The Cross River Government, in recent times, resorted to demolishing suspected to be owned or used as hideouts by criminals.
“This is part of the activities of Operation Akpakwu, a special force set up by Gov. Ayade to fight crime, especially kidnapping.
“This demolition is ongoing. The governor has warned that anyone involved in any form of criminality, or any landlord harbouring any criminal should desist from it,” Henry Okokon, a security adviser to Governor Ayade, said on Thursday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“The bungalow that was demolished belonged to an individual who has been caught in the act of kidnapping, while the brothel was demolished for housing underage persons for prostitution and other illegal activities.
“This is a warning signal to everybody. Whosoever is involved in crime of any form should desist from it,” Mr Okokon said.
He urged businessmen in the state to go about their lawful businesses, giving the assurance that the state government would do its best to protect them against criminals.
The security outfit, a few days ago, demolished a hotel, Save Side Hotel, at 8th Miles, Calabar.
Mr Okokon said, “Most recorded kidnap cases in Calabar were planned and coordinated from the hotel”.
But the owner denied the hotel was used for kidnapping.
“It’s a lie. You know the government needs to cook their story the way they want it,” Saviour Omin, the owner of the Save Side Hotel, told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Omin said he is a youth leader in the community where the hotel was. He said the community would not have elected him a youth leader if he were not of good character.
Besides, Mr Omin said, a hotel is a public place where the owner does not have the ability to know or control who comes in.
He said apart from the government pulling down his hotel, he was detained for five days at the police headquarters and was regularly beaten up.
Mr Omin ruled out going to court to seek redress.
“I don’t have anything to do, but my knees are on the ground, I am praying to God Almighty. Who am I to fight the government? I don’t have money, I don’t have a father, and I don’t have a mother.”
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