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I slept in the bathroom for weeks to avoid being raped by my boss –Human trafficking victim

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A human trafficking victim, Oyinlola Solanke, who was rescued by the Erelu Eyinade Foundation, has narrated how she frustrated the plans by her employer to sexually assault her while working as a maid in Oman.

The graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University explained that she slept in a bathroom for weeks to avoid being raped by her Omani boss who she said was always demanding sex from her.

The 25-year-old stated that her employer forbade her from locking her room, adding that she could only lock the bathroom door, hence her decision to sleep there because she felt safer after bolting the door.

The victim narrated her experience in Oman where she worked as a maid for a family for 10 months during a walk against girl trafficking and child labour organised by Erelu Eyinade Foundation in Abuja on Thursday.

Solanke said she was lured to the Arab nation by her in-law who convinced her that she could earn N150,000 as a maid.

She said, “While working as a maid, I was prohibited from locking my door when in the room. Few weeks before I came to Nigeria, I was sleeping in the bathroom because I felt that was the only place I was safe; that was the only place I could lock the door behind me. It was hell.

“As I speak, there are still some girls at the airport waiting to board a flight to Oman. There is no greener pasture there. The ladies who are claiming to have houses over there are agents who are making money.

“Before I left Nigeria, I was having some personal issues and I just wanted to be away from everybody. I didn’t have a job, and I felt I could work as a maid since there was someone I trusted over there who was giving me the impression that everything was fine. So I went there.”

The graduate explained that she had to lie that her father was dead in order to leave the country, adding that she got her friends to condole with her on WhatsApp about the purported demise of her parent.

She narrated, “The experience I had in Oman wasn’t a good one. I was told that I would earn about N150,000 which, compared to what I was earning here, was better. There were a lot of things they didn’t tell me would happen.

“When I got there, my passport was taken from me and I was not allowed to go out on my own. I spent 10 months there and it was just modern day slavery. I had to put on an act before they permitted me to return to Nigeria; I had to lie that my dad was dead.

“I asked some of my friends to chat with me on WhatsApp that my dad was dead. So, I had to lie that I would return to Oman in two weeks. I didn’t come back with most of my things. I still remember when I got there, I told my employer to get a resident card for me; but it wasn’t done,” she explained.

Solanke cautioned young Nigerians against falling for the promise of a better life in foreign countries by traffickers, adding that foreigners were treated shabbily and only allowed to do menial jobs.

She said, “As a Nigerian, as a black person, you can’t get a good job there. When I was leaving Oman, I saw a lady who spent just six days and wanted to leave because she couldn’t bear the treatment. She wasn’t sexually abused, but she was over-worked, having to wake up at 4 or 5 am and working till 1am of the next day.

“Sometimes when my boss came to my room, he was always trying to forcefully have sex with me, but I refused physically fit. I trained in Taekwando when I was in school and that was one thing that helped me. My boss was a short and fat man, so I used to tell him, ‘If you really want to have sex with me by force, you need to go back to the gym.’”

The founder of the foundation, Ms. Toyin Mark, in her remarks emphasised that the walk was meant to sensitise Nigerians to the evils of human trafficking, adding that her foundation was collaborating with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to enlighten the public about the menace of woman trafficking and child labour.

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Togolese cook seeks plea bargain in Credit Switch CEO’s murder…as wife gives own account

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30-year-old Togolese cook, Sunday Anani, charged with the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Credit Switch Ltd, Chief Opeyemi Bademosi, yesterday Tuesday May 21st, asked the Lagos state High Court in Igbosere to grant him a plea bargain agreement with the government.

Recall that 67-year-old Bademosi was stabbed to death at his home in Parkview estate, Lagos state in October last year. Anani fled the scene of the incident and was later arrested in his hideout in Ondo state.

At the commencement of proceedings on Tuesday, Anani’s counsel, the Director of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Mrs Aderenra Adeyemi, informed the court of his decision to a plea bargain. Adeyemi told Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile that Anani would be opting for a plea bargain deal and that the defence had approached the prosecutor, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bay, to that effect.

Meanwhile the wife of the deceased, Mrs. Ebunoluwa Bademosi, yesterday, gave her own account of what transpired on the sad day her husband was gruesomely murdered. Mrs Bademosi told the gory story of how she returend from work to find her husband in a pool of blood.

“I went through the kitchen door to gain access to the building. The kitchen door was locked. I knocked several times, calling on the defendant (Anani), but he didn’t come to open the door. My husband’s bedroom and the kitchen door was a distance, so I felt he (Anani) must be doing something for him, so I waited by the kitchen door, for a while. While i was waiting, I got a call from my sister, at Ibadan and we spoke for about 5-6 minutes. ’At some point, I brought out my phone from my bag and called my husband, I realised that the phone was being picked but he was not responding. I called him twice and it was the same thing. It was showing minutes counting but nobody was talking.

‘’I went downstairs and decided to pass through the front door, thinking if I got there, there would be somebody at the door. By the time i got to the front door, I realised that the door was left ajar.”

Mrs Bademosi said she immediately suspected something bad had happened.

“I entered the apartment. By the time I got in, I looked up and saw blood flowing out of my husband’s bedroom. I couldn’t enter my husband’s bedroom because the door was only partially open but I could see his body lying on the floor. I wasn’t sure of what could be happening inside the bedroom, so, I ran out of the building and started screaming, calling neighbours to help. A couple of people came. I told them to go up and check that something was happening, that I didn’t know what exactly it was” she said

Mrs. Bademosi told the court that she ran to the gate and asked the security man,

“Where is that guy that oga brought into the house? What is happening? Who is inside the house?”

The guard said the defendant informed him the deceased sent him on an errand.

“People started coming, my next door neighbours and her driver were going upstairs and I followed them but i stood at a distance. They came out and said he was gone (sobbing), my husband was gone, and the defendant was not inside the house, then i passed out. When I woke up, I saw a crowd around me, inside the house, my husband’s corpse was lying down there. They took me downstairs because they didn’t want me to see the corpse. The police later came and took his corpse in an ambulance, he was buried on November 21, 2018? she said

Mrs Bademosi refuted claims that she had a strained relationship with her deceased husband.

“I had a very cordial relationship with my husband. I cooked for my husband”.

The case was adjourned till June 11 for continuation of trial.

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Crime

£1m fraudsters who funded notorious Nigerian organised crime gang convicted

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Three siblings who were working directly for the leader of a notorious Nigerian crime gang have been convicted of laundering nearly £1m for the Black Axe organised crime syndicate through UK bank accounts.

Okemiorukaye Nakpodia, 56, was found guilty of conspiracy to money launder at Woolwich Crown Court today (8 May 2019). Esther Nakpodia, 35, Unuakpotovo Nakpodia, 46, both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

All three siblings, who live in Greenwich in London, will next appear at the same court on 24 May 2019 for sentencing.

They laundered the proceeds of hundreds of frauds between 2007 and 2015.

Police identified 174 suspicious transactions entering bank accounts. Money from a number of the victims of the original frauds ended up in the defendants’ bank accounts and was then laundered by the Nakpodias.

The leader of the Black Axe, Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo, is the brother-in-law of the three defendants. Black Axe is a banned organisation in Nigeria and has been linked to decades of murders, rapes, extortion and drug dealing in Nigeria and across the world, with members allegedly swearing a ‘blood oath’ to join.

Esther and Unuakpotovo Nakpodia are also subject to extradition proceedings concerning advance fee frauds in Greece, to be held at Westminster Magistrates Court at a later date.

Philip Slough, for the CPS, said: “We were able to show the Nakpodias were talking to Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo, the leader of Black Axe, based on conversations found on their devices.  They talked about the amounts, and what to do with the funds after they arrived, including how much to keep for themselves.

“This strong evidence confirmed that the Nakpodias had been actively involved for a number of years in a conspiracy to launder money which had been stolen by others using phone and email scams.

“This prosecution will play a role in starving a dangerous criminal gang of funds and we will seek to recover their proceeds of crime at a later hearing.”

Building the case

Philip Slough, for the CPS, said: “Esther Nakpodia claimed to have never heard of Black Axe, denying links to the organisation – this despite the fact her sister has been married to the group’s leader for 14 years.

“Esther denied knowing that Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo is involved in gang activity, and said she believed he was a reputable business man. She accepted being in possession of £28,000 when arrested – this was money withdrawn from her bank account and was taking it with her to Nigeria to give to her sister and brother-in-law in person. A number of incriminating text messages were found on her mobile phone seized from her upon arrest, revealing her deep involvement in the laundering of these funds.

“Unuakpotovo Nakpodia admitted opening and controlling numerous bank accounts – between January 2007 and February 2015, she received over £700,000 of suspicious payments from between 65-70 unconnected parties in 16 different countries. Unuakpotovo also denied being part of a conspiracy to money launder the proceeds of crime.

“Okemiorukaye Nakpodia accepted all transactions relating to the bank accounts attributed to him – he received nearly £50,000 of direct suspicious payments from eight unconnected third parties in three different countries. He claimed not know the source of these transfers.”

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Naira Marley remanded in prison for alleged internet fraud

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The federal high court in Lagos has ordered that Naira Marley be remanded in prison over allegations of internet fraud.

The singer was arraigned in court on Monday following his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency charged the singer with 11-counts fraud offence to which he pleaded not guilty.

The judge adjourned until May 30 for the hearing of his bail application adding that he should be remanded till the next hearing.

Zlatan and Tiamiu Abdulrahman Kayode; Adewunmi Adeyanju Moses; and Abubakar Musa, who were arrested alongside the ‘Japa’ singer have since been released.

They were arrested for allegations of advanced fee fraud and related cybercrimes on May 10.

Before his arrest, Naira Marley has been in the news recently for advocating the cause of internet fraudsters.

Naira Marley in court on Monday

During an Instagram live session in April, he had urged Nigerians to pray for internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) “as they are crucial to the circulation of money in the economy.”

In the suit before the court, EFCC is using section 33 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

The charges against the singer read in part: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed, counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”

Marley risks seven years in jail if found guilty.

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