Metropolitan Police apologises for not helping enslaved Nigerian man when he reported his captors 15 years ago
In an exclusive interview with BBC London’s home affairs correspondent Nick Beake on Wednesday, December 9, the Nigerian man held as slave for 25 years, Ofonime Sunday Inuk revealed that he reported his captors (Dr Edet and his wife) 15 years ago (2004) only for police to say they could not help him as it was a “family matter,”
Now, the force say it was “really regrettable” it had missed earlier opportunities to help Mr Inuk.
Det Chief Inspector, Phil Brewer of the Met Police trafficking and kidnapping unit said:
“It’s really regrettable that that happened.”
He said the Met now worked with many organisations and local authorities to help prevent similar scenarios occurring where “people are not listened to or not believed.”
Inuk, who is now 40 said:
“I was so happy, thinking it would change my life, but I was just a person’s property,” he told Nick Beake.
“I wanted to commit suicide, I couldn’t bear it.”
After 15 years he reported his intolerable situation to the police.
“They didn’t help me”
“They told me that if I wanted to report them [his captors] they would have to come to the house. The Edets would have turned me out and I would have got myself in trouble.”
When he told the police the Edets had confiscated his passport, he said:
“They told me there was nothing they could do” because it was a “family matter”.
He was encouraged to seek help from the police a second time in 2013 after hearing about a slavery case on the radio and Met detectives finally helped him to escape nine years after he first contacted them.