free state

Lyke Ikachuku: Bail hearing looms for alleged sex trafficker

Published by Andile Sicetsha

According to state prosecutors, Justice Lyke Ikachuku used his charm to lure a woman into a tormenting life of prostitution.

This was part of the state’s submission at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court, on Monday, where the 37-year-old appeared to face sex trafficking charges.

Who is Justice Lyke Ikachuku?

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo, Ikachuku became a prime suspect in a trafficking investigation, after a woman showed up at a police station in Bloemfontein, claiming that she was taken hostage by the 37-year-old.

In her statement, the victim — whose identity has been concealed — detailed how in early December 2020, Ikachuku had lured her into a relationship, under the false promise that he would “purchase the victim a hair salon and a music studio.”

Smitten by Ikachuku’s charm, the woman willingly moved into the foreign national’s home. Much of what transpired thereafter is at the centre of the sex trafficking case that’s yet to receive a trial date.

However, based on the Hawks’ investigation, the woman endured a horrifying two months under the rule of Ikachuku, who allegedly forced her into sex slavery.

“On several occasions, Ikachuku booked the victim in different guesthouses to meet clients. The money that she received for sexual exploitation was then collected by Ikachuku,” Capt Singo revealed.

The woman’s opportunity to break free would come — rather poetically — on Valentine’s Day. According to the Hawks, a client who had ‘seen’ the victim on Sunday 14 February took it in his stride to conjure up an escape for her.

From what we understand, he gave the victim R350 to make an escape when Ikachuku least expected. How she bravely pulled this off, has yet to be revealed.

Alas, the woman took the opportunity and made it to the police station where the trafficking charges were filed. It took the Hawks about a week to track down and arrest Ikachuku.

Will he receive bail?

The 37-year-old appeared briefly in court, on Monday, and the matter was postponed for a bail hearing after his indication of contesting the charges.

The matter will return to court on Monday 8 March. The state, it’s believed, will push for the suspect to be remanded in custody. Of course, Ikachuku may be deemed as a flight risk due to the status of his nationality.

Whether he will be allowed back into the streets is a matter that will be confirmed next week.

-->