A Nigerian couple, Emmanuel and Antan Edet, living in the UK have been found guilty of keeping a fellow Nigerian, Ofonime Sunday Inuk, now 40 as a slave for 24 years at their home in Perivale, North West London. Ofonime had contacted a charity organization, Hope for Justice, after he watched a TV documentary on modern day slavery.
Ofonime told Harrow Crown Court he arrived in the UK from Nigeria in 1989 when he was 14 and made to look after the couple’s home and children. He told the court he had been promised an English education before coming to the UK but was instead made to work, with the warning that if he left the house or went to the police he would be arrested for being an illegal immigrant.
He said he had made attempts to escape and spoken to the police in 2005, but was left “a bit dejected” after being told by an officer it was a “family matter”.
Ten years later he contacted the Metropolitan Police again when he saw media reports about modern slavery and realised the life he was being made to lead was wrong. He emailed a charity organization, Hope for Justice, which in turn contacted Scotland Yard to co-ordinate his release.
Prosecutor Damaris Lakin told the court: “Emanuel and Antan Edet have cruelly robbed this victim of 24 years of his life. They have treated him with complete contempt. Not only did the defendants have total psychological control over the victim, but they also had control of his passport and identity documents. This was a shocking case of modern day slavery which has no place in our society.”
The couple were found guilty of child cruelty, slavery and assisting unlawful immigration. The Edet’s pleaded not guilty to the three count charges. They are to be sentenced today November 18th.