Josephine Iyamu, Nigerian-British nurse found guilty of trafficking five women to Germany, has been given a 14-year jail sentence at Birmingham Crown Court,UK.
Also known as Mama Sandra, Iyamu had campaigned to represent Egor local government area of Edo state in the state house of assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Her campaign promise was hinged on “empowerment of women and families” in the constituency.
During her trial on June 27, Simon Davis, lead prosecutor, had said the Liberian-born nurse subjected her victims to “juju” rituals which involved eating chicken hearts, drinking blood containing worms, and rubbing powder into cuts.
She was also found guilty of using “psychological control” to force the women to secrecy while extorting as much as £32,700 (about N15.5 million) from one of the women.
Testimonies from the victims also revealed that Iyamu had threatened to harm family members if they spoke out.
BBC reports that during sentencing, Richard Bond, the presiding judge, accused the 51-year-old of showing “a complete disregard for the welfare of these women”.
He said she had exposed them to a “real and significant” risk of death as they travelled across the Mediterranean on inflatable boats.
“Trafficking human beings is an ugly offence – it must always be dealt with severely by the courts to deter others from taking part in this vile trade,” he said.
“You showed a complete disregard for the welfare of these women. You saw them not as living, breathing human beings but as commodities to earn you large sums of money.”
Iyamu is the first person to be convicted and sentenced under the Modern Slavery Act passed into law by the British government in 2015.
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