Displacement & MigrationImpactNews

Nigerian Deceived With Employment Rescued From Traffickers In Egypt 

The victim was rescued after HumAngle’s report and collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). The agency is also currently in the process of helping other victims our investigation identified.

After ten months of inhumane treatment, Idowu Adijat, a Nigerian smuggled into Egypt by human traffickers, has been rescued by the Embassy of Nigeria in Cairo. 

The return of the 35-year-old mother of two was facilitated by the Embassy in collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) after HumAngle’s investigation on how traffickers lured her and two others into modern slavery in Egypt. 

The report published in March highlighted the agonies of Nigerians trafficked with a tourist visa and forced to work as housemaids under deplorable conditions for a stipend not enough to feed themselves nor send to Nigeria for their children’s upkeep.

“The job was hard there as we were not treated as housemaids but slaves. I cried every day since I got there,” she said. 

On March 14, HumAngle wrote a letter to NAPTIP detailing the findings of the our report and calling the attention of the agency to the neglect of Nigerians in Cairo. A few days later, officials of the agency reached out to HumAngle for details of the victims and they have since embarked on a rescue mission of the ladies. 

“I was contacted by the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo, and I went there to explain the situation to the Controller on May 10. I was told my case was referred to them by NAPTIP,” Adijat told HumAngle. “Since my passport was seized by my sponsor and she was not willing to show up at the Embassy to avoid being arrested, I was given an Emergency Travel Certificate.” 

An Emergency Travel Certificate is a paper-based travel document issued to stranded Nigerians abroad who do not have the appropriate immigration status. 

She added that her relatives were later contacted in Nigeria for tickets fee and overstay fine.

“I was really happy when my wife told me she was contacted by the Embassy and they were ready to support her return back to Nigeria. Before now, we have heard stories of Police arresting illegal migrants and throwing them in jail. I ran to friends and families to borrow money and we were able to pay for the ticket. I was really happy when she returned on May 31,” said Adeyemi, the victim’s husband. 

The couple is, however, appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to assist them with job opportunities so they can pay back the debt they incurred during Adijat’s return to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the two other victims identified in our March investigation who are still left in Cairo confirmed that officials of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) had contacted them on how to facilitate their return to Nigeria, and a meeting has been scheduled for next week. 

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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