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How I lost my virginity to trafficking – NAPTIP Ambassador

The story of Jane, a survivor of human trafficking to Libya, is very pathetic. The 16-year-old girl defied all odds to give testimony in court…

The story of Jane, a survivor of human trafficking to Libya, is very pathetic. The 16-year-old girl defied all odds to give testimony in court and eventually got justice. 

The court ordered that she be paid N5million as compensation by her trafficker. 

Reacting to the judgement, Jane, who was deceived into embarking on the journey to Libya in 2015 at the age of 16, said she was fulfilled and relieved of the pains and trauma she went through in Libya, having gotten justice for herself and the society. She thanked the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for pursuing her case to a logical conclusion.

She was rescued in 2018 by the International Organisation for Migration. 

Narrating her ordeal she said, “I was in Senior Secondary School in Lagos State when a man approached me, saying that if I wanted to travel abroad to make money, I would build a house for my parents within six months. So I agreed and followed him, but he didn’t tell me the type of work I was going there to do. He said I should not tell my parents or anybody because I would make money to surprise them. 

“They took me and other young girls recruited for the journey to Agbor in Delta State, from there to the Niger Republic. Then through the Sahara desert, we moved to Libya. We spent two months in the Sahara desert.

Jane spoke to Daily Trust Saturday after she received a cheque of N5million compensation from the NAPTIP.

She said that at a point she started crying because the journey was very excruciating, coupled with the fact that she had hoped to go to Italy and make a lot of money. 

“We spent two months in the desert without food and water. Some people died on the way. 

“The trafficker forced us into prostitution.  I stayed with them for two years; and it was a very bad experience. 

“I was a virgin when I embarked on the journey, but my trafficker raped and forced me to carry out an abortion. 

“Each time I think of my experience in Libya I will no longer be myself. So, when I saw the man who trafficked me in Nigeria when I returned, I reported him to the NAPTIP because I wanted justice; and they arrested him,” she said. 

Jane also said that after paying thousands of dollars allegedly used to sponsor her trip to Libya, her trafficker sold her to another person for another round of exploitation. 

“I spent close to three years there working for him, but after paying him the money he claimed I owed him, he sold me to another person. There was a white man who said he wanted to marry me because I was young, so he paid the trafficker a huge amount of money to release me to him. But after collecting the money, he sold me to another person to continue the exploitation,” she further narrated. 

Jane also she was rescued by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) after spending two and a half years in Libya. 

She said that when she came back to Nigeria she learnt hairdressing, which she has been managing. 

“My dream was to be a nurse. I will go back to school to achieve that dream while also doing business,” Jane, who was crowned NAPTIP Ambassador by the director-general of the agency, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azu,  also said she would join the sensitisation and campaign against human trafficking. 

Daily Trust Saturday learnt that a Federal High Court in Asaba, presided over by Justice T. B Adegote, sentenced the trafficker to seven years in prison with an option of N5million fine. 

During the presentation of the N5million cheque, a state commander of NAPTIP, Nduka Nwanwenne, said the agency diligently prosecuted the case with evidences, adding, “Following the survivor’s doggedness in giving testimony during prosecution of the case despite odds, NAPTIP’s director-general, Fatima Waziri-Azi, crowned her NAPTIP Ambassador.”

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