A 26-year-old young lady who was among the more than 500 girls trafficked to Libya for prostitution and was forced to abort about 320 pregnancies has died after her rescue.
Abigail was one of the victims of a Libyan based human trafficking ring operating in Nigeria and trafficked girls to Libya for prostitution by a Nigerian syndicate allegedly led by a couple, Alhaji Muritala Sanni and his wife Alhaja Lateefat Sanni.
Abigail’s death was revealed by Tunde Oshokoya, a human rights activist and private investigator who worked with the Alliance of Rights Defenders (ARD), a non-profit organisation based in Lagos involved in rescuing three of the trafficked girls.
She died after a brief illness she came down with while she was in Libya. Since after her rescue, she has been undergoing treatment but eventually gave up the ghost.
Barrister Ojay Akinwale, the Chief Executive Officer of ARD expressed sadness over her death and urged government to take human trafficking seriously.
After her rescue, Abigail in her interview claimed that she was trafficked to Libya in 2013 after she was lured there to work as an Auxiliary nurse.
There, she was forced to abort about 320 pregnancies for girls working for the prostitution ring in Libya. Abigail who was very ill during the interview had expressed fear that she would die if she exposed the Libya human trafficking syndicate.
She added that soon after her rescue, she received a threat from the syndicate in Libya that she will die if she exposed them. In spite of the threat; Abigail went ahead and narrated her ordeal in the hands of the traffickers.
She was an Orphan living in Bayelsa State with her siblings. “After my parents died, the responsibility to cater for my siblings fell on me as I was the oldest child”.
In 2013, Abigail was eventually lured to Lagos by her sister’s friend where she would meet Alhaja Lateefat and her husband Alhaji Muritala Sanni, with the promise that they will assist her financially.
The couple promised to help her make good money as an auxiliary nurse in Italy. She was asked to pay N10,000 for passport, and was taken along with two other ladies to see an herbalist called Ewe who gave them some concoctions to eat.
They later traveled by bus to Kano and through the desert to Libya. On arrival, they were locked up in one room with fifty other girls.
They were not allowed to go out and were beaten mercilessly if any attempted to escape. Abigail was later moved from the room where she stayed with other girls to a private room where she was locked up, and forced to abort pregnancies for the girls.
Alhaji Muritala and his wife who controlled two brothels brought girls to her room each day to have their pregnancies aborted. The pregnancies were usually aborted around four months and not earlier. Abigail was beaten whenever she refused to abort for the girls.
She further narrated that some of the teenage girls told her they used cucumber to dis-virgin them before they were forced to sleep with men who could be as old as 50 years without protection.
Abigail later gained her freedom from the cartel after three years when she was able to pay them N2.4 million, which they insisted was the price of her freedom.
She was able to raise the amount from the abortion she was performing on the girls and the money she got from her male friends who were into armed robbery in Libya.
In January, she became very ill and eventually got help to come back to Nigeria from a church through the assistance of Alliance of Rights Defenders(ARD). On March 11th, she and two other girls were brought back by air.
Sadly, Alhaji Muritala Sanni and his wife Alhaja Lateefat Sanni, are still on the run from law enforcement agents.