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Nigerian Mother, Adeniji Faces Trial In UK For Modern Slavery |The Republican News

 

 

Afolake-Adeniji

Afolake Adeniji in court yesterday

 

•Tricked Nigerian girl, 13, into travelling to London

A Nigerian mother who allegedly tricked a Nigerian teen into flying to the United Kingdom to be her family’s slave under the pretence of a better life has claimed she was “part of the family.” 

Job Centre worker Afolake Adeniji, 50, arranged for Iyabo Prosper to relocate to London from her home in Nigeria back in 2003 when she was just 13, Southwark Crown Court heard, London Mail reported. Promised a better life and free education, she agreed to come and live with Adeniji, first in Beckton, east London, and then Chelmsford, Essex.

But the teenager was forced to wake up at 5.30am each morning to take care of Adeniji’s children, spending the rest of her day completing menial household chores, and only eating once the rest of the family had been served, jurors heard last week.

When pressed by prosecutors yesterday about what went on inside her home, Adeniji denied all of the allegations put to her, claiming Ms Prosper, now 27, was “making up stories.” “She was completely submissive to the defendant and her family and any confidence she had was lost and ebbed away,” said Ms Prosper’s lawyer, Irshad Sheikh.

“Effectively that was what she was living the life of domestic servitude. It soon became apparent that Iyabo had become miserable, had become extremely depressed, was having negative thoughts and suicidal ideas.”

Adeniji denies arranging or facilitating the travel of a person to the UK for exploitation and inflicting GBH, “namely post-traumatic stress disorder” upon Iyabo. Giving evidence Adeniji told Southwark Crown Court that Ms Prosper was “making up all these stories.”

Mr Sheikh said: “What I suggest is that Iyabo was brought here to this country to ‘help’ you and do the chores that she has mentioned.” “That is not correct,” Adeniji replied before the prosecutor followed up: “And that is what she did, I would suggest.” Adeniji answered: “I do not need her to help me. Everything was already in place before she arrived.”

She explained to jurors how she got to know Iyabo through her older brother, who worked at the home of Adeniji’s parents. Adeniji refused Mr Sheikh’s suggestion that he too was a “houseboy”, instead describing him as “like a son to my parents.”

“He was part of the extended family,” she added. Adeniji said Iyabo came to live “as part of my family” after her arrival from Nigeria. She said the teenager had her own bedroom and woke up “whenever she wants.”

Mr Sheikh asked: “So, she didn’t get into the routine of waking up at about 5.30am? She didn’t get into any routine like that at all?” Adeniji replied: “Iyabo is making up all these stories. It is not correct.”  Adeniji described all household chores being completed on Saturdays with all family members chipping in to help.

“My husband is an early riser, he will have hoovered the stairs and cleaned the sitting room,” she said. “By the time we woke up, whatever was left, washing the bathroom it could be me, Iyabo, it could be anybody, whatever was left we just took it because whatever needs to be done we just did it.”

Following her arrest in October 2014, Adeniji blasted the accusations as “untrue”, instead claiming that Ms Prosper was “part of a loving family” and “given financial and emotional support.”  Describing the time Ms Prosper eventually moved out, she added: “There was no fight. There was nothing.

“It was amicable when she left and she was coming back as she wished, not to help me.” She added: “I didn’t need anybody to help me do chores and look after the children. All I did was just to help Iyabo.”  Adeniji, of no fixed address but previously of Chelmsford, Essex, denies arranging or facilitating the travel to the UK of a person with a view to exploitation and inflicting GBH. The trial continues. (The Sun)

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Delta State Paid Ibori N250m In UK Prison-Investigation |The Republican News

Eniola Akinkuotu and Ovie Okpare

The Delta State Government paid former Governor James Ibori N250m while he was in jail in the United Kingdom between 2012 and 2016,an  investigation has revealed.

It will be recalled that Ibori was convicted on February 27 2012, after pleading guilty to 10 counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at a Southwark Crown Court, London.

It was learnt that Ibori, who was accused of stealing over £250m, was entitled to life pension being a former governor of the oil-rich state.

The ex-governor, who served between 1999 and 2007, was able to sign into law the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 which was later amended in 2009.

The law makes provision for an ex-governor to be paid N50m per year among other perks.

Defending the payment of the money to Ibori in 2012, the then Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ohgeah, said Ibori would continue to be paid N50m until a court nullified his tenure in office.

Ogeah said this in reaction to an affidavit deposed to by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which accused the state government of enriching the ex-governor.

He said, “The truth is that like every other elected governor who had served the state, Ibori was paid his pension entitlement and other benefits alongside his deputy under existing law. The law is the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 and the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits (Amendment) Law 2009.”

Calculations by one of our correspondents showed that for the five years Ibori spent in the UK prison, he was paid N250m by the state government.

Delta State is one of the states in the country currently struggling to pay salaries and which received bailout fund from the Federal Government.

According to a report on the bailout funds monitoring of states conducted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, in February 2016, Delta State had N36, 417,217, 601.53 as total debt value accrued from staff salaries and emoluments. The state was granted N10, 936, 799, 299 as bailout fund from the Federal Government.

Speaking with one of our correspondents on Saturday, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), said the matter was a structural problem and it would be unfair to single out Ibori.

Falana explained that several states including those who could not pay salaries, were paying pensions to ex-governors who had also looted their state treasuries.

He said, “The matter goes beyond Ibori because he is not the only ex-governor collecting the pension. The law in Delta State does not say an ex-governor should stop receiving pay if he is convicted.

“The matter shows the failure of the Nigerian system. I am not defending Ibori but I don’t think he should be singled out. Pension for ex-governors should be scrapped completely.”

Meanwhile, the Delta State Government on Saturday said it was legal for it to honour the laws of the state by paying severance packages and other entitlements ascribed to former governors and deputies including Ibori.

The state government said it would be flouting the law if it decided not to pay the former governor.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said on Saturday that if the state government was owing Ibori his severance package, the government would clear the backlogs as clearly stipulated by law.

“If Ibori is entitled to pension by law, we will not take it away from him because that will be breaching the law . Even if he is owed, it is sure that he deserves the entitlements.’’

He also added that Ibori contributed meaningfully to the infrastructural development of the state and laid the foundation upon which successive governments were building on. (Punchng.com)

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