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How I escaped death after the killings of 2 Nigerian girls in Saudi Arabia

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The Nigerian girl (identity concealed) being driven to the airport
The Nigerian girl being driven to the airport

Faced with imminent death after the killings of two Nigerian girls by their bosses in Saudi Arabia, a third Nigerian girl has told SATELLITE TIMES how she plotted her escape when she came face to face with death.The lucky Nigerian girl who wants her identity withheld said she sojourned to oil-rich Middle East to work as a maid while her family and friends in Nigeria thought she was living and working in Europe.

Weeks back, SATELLITE TIMES had exclusively reported the killings of two Nigerian girls by their Saudi bosses. The two Nigerian girls, Omotayo and Shola, trafficked to oil-rich Saudi Arabia to work as housemaids were killed by their respective employers within a space of two weeks in the respective homes where they worked as servants. The report brought to national attention the horrific conditions of Nigerian female migrant workers in the GCC (Gulf Corporation Council) countries of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates where their lives were worth less than those of camels.

Map of Oman

Map of Oman [Photo Credit: Google map]

The third Nigerian girl, who also is from the Yoruba speaking part of Nigeria, said that after the killings of the two Nigerian girls in Saudi Arabia, she had to plot her escape from Oman, a neighbouring country to Saudi Arabia where similar killings, modern slavery and horrendous human rights abuses are recorded on a daily basis.

The escapee, narrating her story in a group chat to which SATELLITE TIMES female undercover reporter belongs, said that barely three weeks after she arrived Oman to work as a domestic worker, she discovered to her horror thather new boss, a woman, killed in cold blood the last maid that worked for her. Like every of the Nigerian migrant workers in the Gulf countries, the third Nigerian girl was lured, recruited and handed a flight ticket by one of the burgeoning overseas-job recruitment agencies in Nigeria.

Following the chilling discovery, her reflex was to flee immediately from the house but standing in her way was a two-year contract in her name which had been signed by her recruitment agency in Nigeria and a counterpart recruitment agency in Oman. Until she had served her new boss for the two years, there was no foreseeable chance of her leaving the house to say nothing of leaving the country.

READ ALSO: 2 Nigerian girls killed by their bosses in Saudi Arabia

Unable to sleep at night and constantly having to look over her shoulders by day, knowing that death could come any minute, the third Nigerian girl decided to do something. Soon she hit upon the idea of faking madness. She took to mouthing gibberish, mumbling mumbo jumbo, liberally covering her face in white powder and chanting Yoruba incantations to the utter consternation of everyone in the household. One moment she was dressed in Yoruba native attire, the next she was squawking like a chicken even in the presence of guests.

Distressed by the strange manifestations, her Madam knowing no peace for two days summoned the Omani employment agency, accusing them of giving her a mad girl for a maid. Though female migrant workers in the Arab countries are subjected to pregnancy test, HIV test and other medical checks before they are handed flight tickets in their home countries, mental illness is never part of the medical test. In most cases in Nigeria, the recruitment agencies merely procure the desired medical records, the same way they procure passports and other travel documents for the girls before their departure.

After three days of howling and chanting with neither food nor water, the Madam was ready to do anything to rid her household of the ‘mad’ Nigerian maid if only to protect her own sanity. She paid for airplane ticket and ordered her male driver to ensure the maid is deported on the next available flight.

A video clip and photo of the ‘mad maid’ being chauffeured to the airport was posted on an Oman group chat called “Excel Ladies Group”(ELG) – a solidarity group created by Nigerian female domestic workers in Oman. The video and photos were probably taken for the benefit of the Madam as proofs that the ‘mad maid’ had departed Oman.

SATELLITE TIMES’s female reporter was admitted into the Oman group chat after convincing one of the group members the engagement was meant to bring their plight to the Nigerian public. The Nigerian embassies in Oman and Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Gulf countries are notorious for passivity, never responding to distress calls from their citizens nor engaging with the Police nor other relevantauthorities in these Arab countries.

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Army releases detained pregnant woman, Noroh Dung

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Noro Dung

The Nigerian Army has yielded to pressure and released a heavily pregnant woman, Noroh Dung, who was arrested and detained during a search and rescue operation in Du district, Jos South LGA of Plateau State.

Noroh who was whisked away on October 2 was released on Friday, October 12.

Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES, Barr. Godfree Matthew of the Christian Lawyers Association, confirmed Noroh’s release, adding that he was a signatory on behalf of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) he represents.

The news of her release comes shortly after the House of Reps waded into the matter, asking the Federal Government to allow relevant agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria.

SATELLITE TIMES had reported how Noroh was arrested alongside other civilians on suspicions of probable links to the disappearance of Gen. Idris Alkali, who according to the Nigerian Army was a victim of irate youths who blocked roads and attacked travelers, following the invasion of their community on September 2.

SATELLITE TIMES and the Christian Lawyers Association have been championing the release of Noroh ever since the news of her arrest reached this paper.

Details later…

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Missing General: House of Reps responds to Satellite Times report

calls for investigation into disappearance of missing pregnant woman, Noroh Dung

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Noro Dung

The House of Representatives on Thursday responded to a report by SATELLITE TIMES newspaper over the arrest and detainment of a heavily pregnant 20-year-old woman, Noroh Dung, who was whisked away midnight October 2, following a search and rescue operation by the Nigerian Army in Du district of Jos, the Plateau State capital.

SATELLITE TIMES had reported how Noroh was arrested alongside other civilians on suspicions of probable links to the disappearance of Gen. Idris Alkali, who according to the Nigerian Army was a victim of irate youths who blocked roads and attacked travelers, following the invasion of their community on September 2.

This paper also reported how a PUNCH journalist, Mr. Friday Olokor was arrested and detained in a military dungeon on October 6, where he said he saw a pregnant woman suspected to be Noroh Dung.

READ ALSO: Missing General: Heavily pregnant woman held captive by Nigerian Army in Jos

The motion was raised on the floor of the House by a member from Plateau State, Mr. Edward Pwajok (SAN) who raised concerns about the direct involvement of the military in the investigation of the cases of missing persons.

While sympathizing with families who were affected by the recent unrest, Mr. Pwajok urged the Federal Government to allow relevant agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria.

He urged the “Federal Government and the relevant security agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria, including but not limited to Maj. Gen. Alkali and Captain Mwankon-Gyang.”

Mr. Pwajok told the House that allowing constituted security agencies to handle the investigation of missing persons in the communities, specifically the Police and DSS (Department of State Service) would help respect the rule of law and human rights of the citizens.

Similarly, Mr. Pwajok called for the release of all those under detention, particularly civilians detained at the 3rd Division Nigeria Army Rukuba Barracks in Jos, for proper investigation in line with due process and the rule of law.

Part of the motion raised by the House read, “(The House) is further worried by reports that many people, including pregnant women and the aged, were and are being arrested and taken to the Rukuba Barracks of the 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army for interrogation with some of them spending many days there; among them was a journalist, Mr Friday Olokor, a correspondent of The PUNCH newspapers in Jos, who was arrested along with others in a restaurant in Ray Field…”

On October 8, this paper contacted Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations for an official response to confirm whether or not Noroh was in their custody, he did not pick his calls but later responded saying, “no such name in our custody.”

While the army has remained in denial of Noroh’s arrest and detainment, it is suspected that more pregnant women could be sharing the same fate at the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army in Rukuba Barracks.

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Access Bank to pay N100 million damages to Oba Tejuoso

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Access Bank Plc
Access Bank Plc building used to illustrate the story

After six years of fierce legal battle between Ogun State monarch, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso and Access Bank Plc, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Tuesday slammed N100 million damages on the bank for its negligence.

The trial judge, Justice Olatoregun in her judgment held Access Bank and the third defendant; Intercontinental Securities Limited liable for gross negligence in the handling of share purchases by the Mr. Tejuoso, kept under their care and control.

The bank, in July 2008 advanced to the plaintiff the sum of N276,613,297.00 for the purchase of shares in various companies.

According to the agreement between the plaintiff and Access Bank, the security for the loan was the share certificates which were kept under the management and control of the bank.

The court took judicial notice of the express instruction in writing given to the bank by the Plaintiff that the shares purchased with the loan should be sold immediately their value dropped below 130% of the loan facility.

The trial court agreed with the contention of counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Adeleke Agbola that the bank failed to observe the minimum legal duty of care to the plaintiff in their contractual relationship.

However, the court in its judgment ordered the bank and its subsidiary, Intercontinental Securities Limited to pay the sum of N100 million damages to Mr. Tejuosho for breach of contract.

Agreeing with the argument canvassed by Mr. Agbola, the court held that from the material facts placed before it that the Plaintiff has suffered great loss of his monies under the care of the bank.

Oba Tejuoso

Oba Tejuoso [Photo credit: guardian.ng]

The monarch instituted the suit in 2012 against the defendants. The suit had earlier dragged to the Court of Appeal over an attempt to remove Access Bank as a co-defendant in the suit.

However, the attempt was rebuffed by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division. In its verdict, the appellate court held that the bank was a necessary party to the suit, and ordered for return of the suit to the lower court for the trial to start afresh.

In the suit, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was listed as the first defendant while the bank and its subsidiary, Intercontinental Securities Limited were listed as second and third defendants.

It was held that the banker/customer relationship between the plaintiff, and the 2nd and 3rd defendants imposed a legal duty of care on the defendants which was breached, as a result of their negligent conduct.

Apart from the N100 million damages, the court ordered the bank and Intercontinental Securities Limited to give account of how they used the N276,613,297.00 facility advanced to the Plaintiff and also give an account of all purchases and sales of stocks and shares effected by or on the instruction of both the 2nd and 3rd defendants on the usage of the Plaintiff’s money.

 

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