Nigerian Couple Kept Woman In ‘Oppressive Servitude’ For 10 Yrs – UK Judge

by Kim Boateng Posted on August 23rd, 2017

A High Court Judge in the UK has concluded that a Nigerian British couple, Teresa Abu and husband Joel Abu, kept an African woman also a Nigerian, in servitude at their home for over 10 years. Rashida Ajayi told the High Court that she was a victim of “labour exploitation”
because as a domestic worker at the couple’s home she was paid about £300 a year.

Mrs Abu, a civil servant involved in policy support at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and her husband disputed Ajayi’s claims. But Master Victoria McCloud has ruled in Ajayi’s favour after a high court hearing in central London.

The judge said Ajayi had been prevented from having a wage “sufficient to give her basic freedoms”. She made no ruling on what compensation Ajayi should get.

“The overall picture I have from the evidence is that Ms Ajayi was kept in economic servitude,” McCloud said in a written ruling. “Her circumstances in the Abu household were oppressive servitude.”

She said they “fell short of the standards which the law of the land requires as a basic minimum for the dignity of the worker and their remuneration”.


Photo: The Royal Court Of Justice London where a Jugde, Master Victoria McCloud, agreed that Nigerian British couple, Teresa Abu and husband Joel Abu, kept an African woman Rashida Ajayi also a Nigerian, in servitude at their home for over 10 years

Ajayi said she had been a domestic worker at the Abus’ home between 2005 and 2015 after being brought from Nigeria. She said she had been subjected to minimally paid domestic servitude and had little or no personal freedom.

The Abus disagreed, arguing that they had “treated her as a member of their family, paid her appropriately or perhaps at times generously for the work she did.”

McCloud’s ruling did not disclose Ajayi’s age or where the Abus lived.

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Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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