A Nigerian doctor and her husband have been convicted of trafficking a Nigerian woman into the UK for the purpose of exploitation. Ayodeji Adewakun, 44 and her husband Abimbola Adewakun, 48, a nurse, both from St Katherine's Road in Erith appeared for trial at Southwark Crown Court.
They were found guilty on Thursday, 18 May, of one count of trafficking a woman to the United Kingdom for the purposes of exploitation. The 29-year-old victim was brought by the couple to the UK from Nigeria.
She worked as a domestic worker for the Adewakuns between February 2007 and June 2009. She was also brought to the UK from Nigeria and was contracted to work from 0700hrs to 1700hrs, Monday to Saturday, looking after the Adewakuns' children for £500 per month. They didn't pay her anything at all until May 2009, when she confronted Dr. Adewakun about her lack of wages. A bank account was subsequently set up for her but even then, only four payments totaling £350 were deposited into this account for over two years' worth of work.
She was never given a day off, she worked night and day and eventually, her health began to suffer. When she eventually confronted Dr. Adewakun about the way she was being treated, her situation worsened. She was no longer permitted to use the family bathroom and was made to wash her clothes by hand. She eventually escaped in June 2009 with the help of a family friend.
The case was referred to the Met's Modern Slavery and Kidnap Unit by Migrant Legal Action (formerly Afro-Asian Advisory Service). On 13 January 2015 Abimbola Adewakun was arrested and interviewed and later released on bail.
On 19 January 2015 Ayodeji Adewakun attended a police station by appointment and was interviewed under caution. She was not arrested. Both defendants were charged on 10 November 2015 with trafficking for the purpose of exploitation.
Investigating Officer Detective Sergeant Nick Goldwater said: "This couple deceived the victim by promising her a regular wage, which was far higher than her earnings in Nigeria. She hoped that she would be able to send money home and improve her family's standard of living.
"In reality, she was made to work day and night and barely paid anything. She was subject to intimidating behaviour by Dr. Adewakun, who exerted control over her by keeping her socially isolated and withholding her passport.
"I hope that these convictions serve as a warning to anyone else committing this crime and encourages anyone being exploited to come forward. I also hope it brings a measure of comfort to the brave victim in this case."
Sentencing has been provisionally set for 16 June.
Adimbola Adewakun was found not guilty in relation to trafficking charges against a second victim The jury did not reach a verdict in the case of Ayodeji Adewakun in relation to trafficking charges against a second victim. Source: Metropolitan Police