Texas couple Emmanuel and Ngozi Nnaji sentenced to 55 years for holding Nigerian woman In forced servitude
Special to USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine
AHN/Fort Worth/Arlington area: A federal North Texas jury found Emmanuel Nnaji and Ngozi Nnaji guilty of conspiracy, forced labor, document servitude, alien harboring and false statements. The two each face up to 55 years in prison.
According to the Justice Department, the Nnajis had enticed a Nigerian widow to work in the United States as their servant. They promised the woman a salary and support for her six children.
The couple obtained fake immigration documents, withheld these and other documents from the woman, and forced her to work long hours in their home with no days off, little or no pay and no support for her children. They used a scheme to keep the woman from making contact with the world outside the home, prohibited her from regularly attending church and monitored her communications with her family in Nigeria.
The Justice Department said evidence at trial proved that Emmanuel Nnaji sexually assaulted the widow and made her fearful of informing authorities.
“Holding other human beings in servitude against their will is a violation of human rights that will not be tolerated in our free society,” Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil rights division, said in a statement.
“This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to combating human trafficking in all its forms, vindicating the rights of trafficking victims and bringing human traffickers to justice,” Perez added. By Kris Alingod, AHN contributor.