A Nigerian couple based in the United Kingdom have been charged for alleged human trafficking after their babysitter reported them.
A 44-year-old Nigerian medical doctor, Ayodeji Adewakun and her 48-year-old husband, Abimbola have been arrested and charged for human trafficking by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom.
Daily Mail reports that the couple was charged at the Southwark Crown Court for allegedly trafficking a Nigerian woman, Iyabo Olatunji to the UK and making her work 18-hour shifts and paying her £20 a week.
They also accused of beating the 37-year-old Olatunji anytime she asked for a wage increase and locking her up without her consent.
Olatunji who testified in court said she was also made to work hard every day, cleaning their house before staying late and cooking the couple’s dinner.
The court heard that the couple had persuaded Olatunji who was working as a secretary for a local government in Nigeria to leave her home and job and join them in the UK to look after their two young children at their three-bedroom home in Erith, south east London, in 2004.
In a contract signed in 2004, it was reported that Ayodeji had promised to pay Olatunji £450 per month with a wide range of benefits as parts of the conditions of her employment. According to the contract, Olatunji was supposed to care for the couple’s two young children at an agreed time and days.
However, Olatunji denied she was made aware of any duties expected of her outside of her babysitting role and added that she had never even had a bank account set up for her to receive her wages into.
She claimed that she came to the UK with just N5 in her pocket and was not even given a T-shirt during a family holiday to Euro Disney.
She added that she was made to sleep at midnight and forced to get up at 6 am every morning to get the children fed and ready for school.
She recalled being slapped three times by the doctor when she asked for more money to cater for herself.
The first occasion where she was slapped, Olatunji recalled was her birthday and she documented the incident in a diary she kept, which also detailed the strict payment schedule.
The diary which was presented to jurors had entries like:
"Aunty fought with me today. She slapped my face twice. The day I will never forget in my life. The first time in history that somebody has slapped my face.”
Olatunji also claimed she was assaulted again twice before she reported her situation to Ayodeji’s mother.
The couple has however denied obtaining services by deception and trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation and a new date has been set for trial.
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