Nigerian Lady Bags 30 Months In UK For Enslaving 13 Year-Old Girl



A Nigerian fraud investigator who tricked a teenage girl into flying to Britain to be her personal slave for more than a decade has been jailed for two and a half years.

Afolake Adeniji, 50, was working in the fraud department at Plaistow Job Centre in east London when she persuaded Iyabo Prosper to fly to London from Africa in 2003 when she was just 13.
The teenager was living in poverty in Nigeria and was promised a better life and free education at Adeniji’s home in Beckton, east London.

But instead, Miss Prosper was forced to wake up at 5.30am every day to look after Adeniji’s children before spending the rest of her day cooking and cleaning for her family.

Prosecuting, Irshad Sheikh told Southwark Crown Court: ‘She was completely submissive to the defendant and her family and any confidence she had was lost and ebbed away.

‘Effectively that was what she was living – the life of domestic servitude.’

He added: ‘It soon became apparent that Iyabo had become miserable, had become extremely depressed, was having negative thoughts and suicidal ideas.’

Miss Prosper, now 27, claimed Adeniji’s verbal abuse has left her with post traumatic stress disorder.

She eventually ‘plucked up the courage’ to tell a friend how she was being treated and Adeniji was arrested in October 2014.

She was convicted of arranging or facilitating the travel of Miss Prosper to the UK for exploitation but cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm, following her victim’s claims of being given post traumatic stress disorder.

Jailing Adjenji for two and a half years, Judge Stephen Robbins said: ‘You subjected a young girl to a life of domestic servitude for a lengthy period of years.

‘You used her for your own ends. You exploited her.’

The court heard Adeniji, who had been on bail since being convicted last month, will now be placed on suicide watch in custody.

Mr Sheikh told jurors during her trial that the then teenager ‘was lured to the UK with the promise of education and a better life’.

He said: ‘She was forced to clean, mind the defendant’s children and effectively live the life of a house girl.’

Jurors heard Ms Prosper was forced to work ‘for up to 16 hours a day’, first at an unknown address in Beckton and then at another house in Eglington Drive, Chelmsford.

The court was told she had to share the box room occupied by Adeniji’s children and would be up at 5.30am to get them fed and ready for school.

Household chores would occupy the rest of her day until she had to pick them up, prepare dinner for the family and tidy up before going to bed at around 10.30pm.

But Adeniji tried to convince the court the girl she made her slave was ‘part of a loving family’.

She said: ‘She was part of a loving family. She’s making up all these stories.

‘I did not need her to help me. Everything was already in place before she arrived.

‘All I did was just to help Iyabo.’

She also claimed she got to know Miss Prosper through her older brother, who was working for her parents.

Mr Sheikh suggested he was also working as a ‘houseboy’ but Adeniji stood by the fact he wasn’t, saying he was ‘like a son to my parents’.

She has since been fired by the job centre, where she was working in the fraud and error prevention service.

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’.

Adeniji, jailed, fired at work

‘He was part of the extended family,’ she added.

Adeniji was fired from her role at the job centre before her conviction.