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Couple Keeps Nigerian Teenage ‘House Boy’ as Slave for 24 Years in UK



Emmanuel Edet and Antan EdetBritish citizens Dr. Emmanuel Edet, 61, and his wife, Antan Edet, 58, kept a Nigerian teenager as a slave for 24 years.

The Edets brought their victim in to the UK in 1989 as a 14 year old teenage boy from Nigeria. They falsified his name and brought him in as their son. They told him he would be their ‘house boy’ (domestic help) and they would pay for his education.

Instead, the couple made him do house and garden work for zero pay, sometimes up to 17 hours a day, for 24 years. They threatened him with deportation if he ever faltered from his duties.

Emmanuel is a phlebotomist, while the wife is a senior nursing sister. They might have been entrusted with people’s lives and care at work, but their home was one of horror as they watched their victim through CCTV and made him sleep on a dirty foam mattress in their hallway. They also seized his passport, so he had no way of leaving the country.

The man, in his late 30s, only became aware that what was happening was wrong after he watched a documentary on modern slavery. He secretly emailed charity ‘Hope for Justice’ that intervened. The victim was released last year and is living a completely different life in the UK – he has a job, a home and is also a student.

As of this week, the Edets have now been convicted of child cruelty, slavery and assisting in illegal immigration at Harrow Crown Court.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Brewer, of the Metropolitan Police’s trafficking and kidnap unit, had this to say about the abuse, and urged other victims of modern slavery to come forward:

The Edets … controlled what he wore, what he did and how he spoke for the majority of his life.

When the victim left Nigeria, he was a young boy with aspirations but the Edets abused him until he became timid, nervous and obedient. They conditioned him to the degree that when we visited him at the Perivale address and tried to lead him into the living room to speak, he became visibly shaken at the thought of breaking the Edets’ rules about going into that room. It was only when he went into the kitchen that he was able to relax and speak openly to police.

While he will never fully overcome what happened during those 24 years, he is determined to make the most of the rest of his life and today’s conviction will help him feel he can do that. In his own words, he has hope and a future now.

Photo Credit: Metropolitan Police | Source: International Business Times & itv News


  1. nwa nna

    November 18, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Dafuq?! 24 yrs kwanu?!

  2. Naijababeii

    November 18, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Haa some naija people wickedooooooooo. Well it’s payback time

    • mimi

      November 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      the boy is a Nigerian how is that a payback

  3. tunmi

    November 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Abuse ehn. Mental abuse is the absolute worst. It does something to your brain. They completely broke the 14-yr old boy that he could barely function as an adult. Physical abuse is also bad, it also becomes a form of mental abuse. Imagine, he would have lived the rest of his life as their slave. And his parents or his people would think their son is doing well. This is why I don’t want a child’s obedience. The power that absolute obedience brings is scary

  4. Miss_Flygerian

    November 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Uwa nke a ehn, ndi mmadu juru ya. People dey this world mehn. Wtf?

    • abi

      November 19, 2015 at 1:05 am

      A coruscate of mine here in canada has been saying all she wants is a help from nigeria and she is only 25,imagine that kind of mentality in this new age,meanwhile she wasn’t raised with a househelp but lots of cousins turn househelp

  5. zeal

    November 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    some of us just treat our fellow humans like nothing and think we are gods, even GOD sef has a heart and feels for us when we are going through hard times, let alone a mere dust like me. Tufia!!!!!!!!!!!!


    November 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Sigh, how they got away with it for so long is baffling! He must have been very scared and London being London where your neighbour doesnt really care what you do then i can understand. At least he knew how to send a mail.

  7. Giza7th

    November 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    hmm…there are so many questions to be asked here.

    While i know that the houseboy era is yet to be over in some Nigerian homes; i cannot help but wonder how a 24 year old slave that was treated so badly and threatened so often that he could barely venture into the living quarters of “his masters”…had access to the Tv to watch the documentary and had access to an internet-enabled device and was able to use same.

    It appears that there just may be some level of exaggeration on from the UK authorities. I know our cultures differ but the houseboy/housegirl mentality is prevalent everywhere around the world except in Europe (and trust me they have their own demons).

    This theory of him being kidnapped from his home (as some other sites report) is another factor i consider odd, really…? people have to resort to kidnapping domestic helps in Nigeria where labour was historically cheap and could in some instances have been obtained free.

    I dunno, i just have a lot of questions as per this piece and i know the UK is currently big on human trafficking and will celebrate all success. A different and more efficient theory would have been the falsifying of papers (bringing him into the UK as their son) and maybe the conditions of the boys service.

    • Anon

      November 18, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      “I know our cultures differ but the houseboy/housegirl mentality is prevalent everywhere around the world except in Europe” Except in Europe? Really?

      “Had access to the Tv to watch the documentary and had access to an internet-enabled device and was able to use same.

      You can do all these on a smartphone and a basic smartphone isn’t expensive. An old blackberry can do these things; 1) watch terrestrial TV on a phone (BBC1, 2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.) ITV may have been the one to show the documentary, that’s their stock-in-trade. 2) you can set up emails on a phone.

    • Giza7th

      November 18, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      I appreciate your comment and it doesnt take much to acknowledge that you can watch Tv, browse and send emails using a mobile phone. However, the point was that this guy has been “enslaved” and in that context, i will be shocked if he knew how to use emails and/or was allowed access to own or use a mobile phone.

      The essence is not to justify their actions, the point is that we do not necessarily have to believe all that is read or circulated in media.

  8. Lotusflower

    November 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes. A young boy trusts you with his life and all you can do is dehumanize him.
    I’m glad that they are jailed!

  9. sass

    November 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Ekwensu and Ekwemses. The man I can understand, the woman I cant

    • oluwatofuneminikan

      November 19, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      I can’t phantom ur understanding of the man’s stance in this issue, this is bad irrespective of the genders involved, Habba!

  10. Sade

    November 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Wickedness in high places. This man has been mentally abused and conditioned to act in a certain way.

    Some Nigerians can be very wicked, we abuse and enslave ourselves especially Some Nigerians in Nigeria. If you treat your house help well, it will reflect on your children.

    I was in lagos a while back and went to visit a friend. The friend’s mom had someone bring her a group of young girls between the ages of 12 and 16. So she had to pick the one she wanted as a maid. Then gave her supplier a bundle of cash. Omg. I was disgusted, this is modern day slavery and possibly child trafficking. I had to cut my visit short and left immediately. I was pissed. I tipped the police station in that area and the police I spoke to “okon” – simply laughed into my ears.

    Oh what potential this man has lost in his lifetime. I really hope the couple gets locked up and never sees day light.

  11. tish

    November 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Do they have children? I’ll like to know, because it will really be amazing if they had children that were witnesses to this for 24 years and still kept quiet. There are some crazy things that parents do, that it’s only their kids that can talk sense into them. Too many wicked people in this world that seem normal, it’s sickening!

  12. Cher

    November 18, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Yeah he came in UK at 1991 im really shocked he knew how to send an email . Some people are truly sick . Wtf was it for him to do for 17 hours a day .

  13. some women are not meant to be mothers

    November 18, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    women are more wicked than men when it comes to house help. My aunt and uncle adopted my uncle’s sister’s last daughter and brought her as their eldest child even though they had two boys. The woman worked as a nurse and would accuse the young girl who she made to cook and clean, literally treated less than human especially when she came home and the girl wasnt done with the chores, she would hit her with chairs, kick anthrow her down the stairs, to extents of breaking her bones, while her sons watched and cheered her on. The girl became her punching bag to release stress from work, and her husband not wanting her wahala would just stand by. When he did intervene she would accuse the man of sleeping or wanting to sleep with his own niece. It was disgusting and the woman would threaten the girl that she would send her back to nigeria if she said anything to her teachers or even dcfs.The whole Nigeria igbo community they belonged to just watched and did nothing except for my parents who tried to help, but the woman stopped her kids from being our friends and stopped her friendship with my mom who was her best friend. So things like this happen, and i feel most of these devils use religion and culture to mask their evil deeds. When the girl left for college she turned her back on them and even changed her name so not have association with them. I blame not only the woman and her husband, bit the entire community they belonged to. Its sad what people do when they think they have power over a child that is not their blood. So I feel sorry for the guy and i hope this people get punished her on earth and when God comes.

  14. Missy

    November 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    This form of slavery is more rampant than we are aware of. I know of an Olori of a prominent Yoruba monarch who took someone’s daughter abroad with a promise to send her to school and improve her quality of life. As soon as the young girl arrived, olori collected her passport and swore her to loyalty by “juju” before handing her over to her own daughter as a slave. This young woman has slaved in the UK for many years now and has no hope of coming back home, Her story is eerily similar to this one. Her father still weeps about his poor decision.

  15. Nahum

    November 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I think the Nigerian government really needs to regulate the domestic service sector. I won’t say an outright ban because millions of families in this country depend on the salary, but they need to regulate it. First: ensure that it is only 18year olds that go to work as help. If you collect an underage relative from the village, ensure that the child goes to school and has monthly medical check ups to ensure no form of abuse is taking place. Second: set a realistic minimum wage and enforce it and last but not the least: SENSITIZE THE POLICE to issues of domestic violence!! Our police are completely clueless when it comes to domestic violence and try need to be re-educated.

    • Cindy

      November 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      You made the most sense here.

    • Corolla

      November 18, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      @ Nahum, I agree 100%, but who will enforce it?

  16. Drknite

    November 18, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Shouldn’t the first sentence read, “NIGERIAN-British citizens Dr. Emmanuel Edet, 61, and his wife, Antan Edet, 58 kept a Nigerian teenager as a slave for 24 years”?

    Or those BN only add Nigerian, when referring to the person citizenship, when it is positive news?

  17. Hasi

    November 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    What ever happened to hearing both sides of the story before passing judgement????! Saw this story on social media about a year ago and the same thots still go through my mind as I see the story now…. I’m with you Giza7th on some aspects of the story being off….. Also, I’m really curious about the promise to send him to school, that was not elaborated on – did they or didn’t they send him to school…..?

  18. i no send

    November 18, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    i know about a girl who confided in some one that she she falsely accused her cousin of abuse .because it was the only way she would get a permanent stay but didn’t know that it would result in jail sentence and so many other sanctions including losing custody of the other words she thought they would just give her residency and that will be the end… she regrets it but says its too late to do a turn around….so i won’t say any thing about this case yet

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