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Sunday, April 3, 2016

aborted 320 pregnancies – Abigail, self- confessed human trafficking victim

Abigail-abortWhen 26-year-old Abigail Olori met Alhaja
Latifat and her husband three years ago, she felt
she had met an angel in human form who would
turn the odds of her life for good. Considering
the fact that she had lost her parents and was
saddled with the responsibility of catering for
her siblings, she jumped at the offer to travel to
Italy to work as an auxiliary nurse for the couple.
Unknown to her, however, she was making the
biggest mistake of her life.
A look into the eyes of the frail looking Abigail
revealed misery, pains and betrayal that she has
been subjected to in the last three years.
Coughing intermittently and straining herself to
be audible, she narrated her ordeal in the hands
of her traffickers. “I met Alhaja Latifat and her
husband in 2013 when they came to Nigeria;
then I was 23-years-old. I knew them via a
relative of mine, Rofel, when I was residing in
Bayelsa with my siblings. Rofel invited me to
Lagos; it was during the visit to Lagos that I was
introduced to Alhaja Latifat who promised to
take me to Italy”, she stated.
“Before the journey, they said they wanted me
to become an auxiliary nurse for them in Italy
but unfortunately I found myself in Libya. They
took me via the desert. We were about 30 that
were taken to Libya from Nigeria. “Since I didn’t have parents, I was only able to
raise N10, 000 which the alhaja claimed was for
the passport she procured for me. The
agreement was that I will work and pay her N2.4
million once I get to Italy which included the
amount she spent to take me abroad and the
return on her investment.
“Before we left Nigeria, they took us to a native
doctor called Ewe in Abeokuta, Ogun State where
we were made to swear an oath. It was after the
oath that we were taken to Libya instead of Italy.
“Initially when I got to Libya and found out that
my responsibility was to abort pregnancies for
young girls, I refused but Alhaja Latifat and her
husband locked me up in a room and beat me
severely with a mop stick I had no option but to
bulge. Each time I refused to perform abortion
for any of the girls, they will lock me up and beat
me.
“That was how I started assisting them to
terminate unwanted pregnancies for the young
girls who were working as call girls for Alhaja
Latifat.
“We had girls within the ages of 10-15 working as
call girls, sleeping with all sorts of men
unprotected. Most of the girls were forced to
sleep with elderly men as old as 60 years-old.
Some of these girls confessed to me that they
were hairdressing apprentices and fashion
designers before they were deceived to come to
Libya to work as prostitutes. “Any of the girls
who refused to work, they will beat her up.
Some of the girls who attempted to escape got
into more trouble as they were resold to other
traffickers in Libya.
“My main responsibility was to carry out abortion
for the girls forced into prostitution. By my
calculation, I would have aborted 320
pregnancies in the process. They built
instrument which I used to perform the abortion
on the girls. If a pregnancy was about a month,
and the girl in question notified Alhaja Latifat
about the development, the Alhaja Alhaja will
not allow me to abort the baby till the pregnancy
was about four or five months old.
“Apart from carrying out abortions, I also
performed the job of a physician to the girls.
“They had about three houses which were used
as brothels to house the girls who worked as call
girls. I resided in one of the brothels called New
York. The second was called White House. I can’t
remember the name of the third one.
“I worked for the alhaja for about three years
and I was able to raise the amount from the
abortion I was performing on the girls and the
money I got from my male friends who were
into armed robbery in Libya. Like the call girls, I
was not allowed to operate a bank account. Since
I didn’t operate any bank account, the money I
earned was kept with Alhaja Latifat. Within two
years I was able to pay the N2.4m agreed
amount on the contract and also give her N1.5M
which I kept with her as my personal savings.
“Meanwhile, trouble started after I demanded
that she gives me back my N1.5m which was with
her as I wanted to return to Nigeria.
Immediately after I demanded for my money,
this strange sickness started. I began to grow thin
and lose weight. And then skin rashes began to
appear all over my body. Look at me I am now a
shadow of myself. I don’t know what is wrong
with me. I feel very weak too.
“I was rescued alongside two other girls weeks
after Basirat and Omobolanle were rescued
through an NGO, Alliance for Rights Defender,
owned by human activists and lawyer, Mr. Ojay
Akinwale. Mr Akinwale has been the one working
with operatives of the National Agency for the
Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Since I was rescued and brought back to Nigeria,
Alliance for Rights Defender has been
instrumental to providing medical care for me. I
want to get well first and I also want the Federal
Government to investigate Alhaja Latifat, her
husband and others running this human
trafficking as a family business by taking
advantage of young girls from indigent families”.

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