London, Oct 14: At least three teenaged Nigerian orphan girls were brought to Britain by a trafficker and forced into prostitution and sold like slaves after being subjected to witchcraft rituals, a court has heard.
The Canterbury Crown Court heard that the trafficker – identified as 42-year-old Ozesua Osolase – promised them a better life, and instead sexually abused them, the Daily Express reported.
One girl said she was put through a bizarre juju magic ceremony in which she was cut with a razor.
Osolase, a former security guard at a store in London, denies six trafficking offences and seven sex offences, including rape.
The court was told that while living with his German wife Gabby in Kent, Osolase went to Nigeria’s Lagos city and met a girl, now aged 17.
The daily said she had a tragic family background and was living under a bridge in the city when he found her. She said he offered to take her to Britain to be educated.
She was taken to a house where the accused and other men made her drink a native port wine, which looked like it contained blood.
“I was afraid because the place was a place of juju. One cut my hair, then cut hair from my armpits and took fingernails and toenails and took my blood from my right hand. He told me if I told anyone I would die,” the girl told the jury.
After she arrived in Britain, she was told by Osolase that she would not be going to school but instead she was being sent to Italy to work as a prostitute.
She overheard the man on the phone agreeing to sell her for 52,000 pounds.
Anthropologist Hermione Harris, an expert in Nigerian religions, told the court about juju beliefs. “Blood is taken because it is thought to contain the essence of the person’s individual power.”
Osolase told the court he became involved in making illegal travel arrangements for others after losing his job.
He admitted escorting girls abroad using false passports but claimed he thought they were older and willing.
“They were adult women and they were happy to go. I never forced them to travel,” the daily quoted him as saying.
The trial continues.