Human trafficking


Yakubu Oyiza Hope is an Akwa Ibom-based indigene of Kogi state. A fashion designer, certified chef and human trafficking advocate. She is the founder of LUNA Foundation, a foundation that’s solely focused on repatriating and reintegrating trapped victims of human trafficking.

Presently, the organization consists of 182 survivors, which includes, 9 newborn babies, 8 pregnant women, 120 females and 45 males, She works with a team of 18 volunteers who support her organization.

Oyiza Yakubu shares her inspiring story with us in this exclusive interview.  

Yakubu Oyiza Hope

Childhood Influence

As a child, I loved humanitarian work, from a distance, I loved getting the desired help and this made me volunteer for an organization in 2010, immediately after my secondary school.

I volunteered with the Salvation Army, Nigeria ( HIV/AIDS) department and we would travel across the country for sensitization campaigns. My mum was very supportive of me even when I was so young, after that, I volunteered with Daughters of Charity, St Vincent de Paul, where I went to different villages to run HIV tests and later became an adherence counsellor for HIV-positive patients.

Inspiration Behind Luna Foundation

LUNA foundation wasn’t really my goal in the first place, all I wanted was for people to know what was going on to migrants in Libya, I started using my platform to share not until I came across relatives of missing persons in Libya, then it occurred to me that I could use my experience to bring a group of volunteers together to search from missing persons, get them out of traffickers grip and restore hope to the family.

Read Also: My Wish Is For Nigeria To Have Facilities For Special Needs Children

The Journey So Far

The journey has been stressful and fruitful as well, there are days I want to run away and leave everything behind but when I look at the results so far, I want to do more. We presently have 2 camps in Libya housing 182 individuals and a total of 36 is expected to join us anytime soon, we have also been able to provide answers to 49 relatives about their missing ones. We are currently looking at working in Ghana, and Egypt as well.

Being At The Forefront Of Reintegrating Trapped Victims Of Human Trafficking

Working with the victim has shown me that life is deep and people are stronger than what I give credit for, it has taught me to be holistic and always think on my feet which is one of my greatest strengths.

For victims who have relatives they can trust, we encourage them to stay with the relatives and only share their stories when they feel it’s right, we also encourage them to share their story after undergoing psychology evaluation, this is to prevent them from having a breakdown due to the harsh judgement from the world.


As the lead founder, it’s extremely scary because traffickers see me as a threat and try to frustrate my efforts. I have to be extremely security conscious, provide answers, and be exposed to different gory images and videos, it takes extra grace to keep on.

How We Run The foundation

For now, we don’t have sponsors. We just collaborated with an Italian partner and we got mattresses from them for the newborn babies at the camp.

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My Work-Life-Balance Routine As a Single Mother

Being a single mother to a 5-year-old plus work is stressful but I work with time daily, I have effectively built a time table I work with and with the physical support of my brother, it helps in relieving me on my tired days.

What  Government Should Put In Place To End human trafficking? 

I believe the government should intensify awareness campaigns to villages and educate our local religious leaders, who are the more vulnerable people to the gimmicks of traffickers.

One Thing I Wish To Do To Make The World A Better Place

Hmmm, I would ensure every woman has the POWER to say NO and I would make sure such Power is respected. For children, I would just ensure they live as children without the burden of serving the adults.

Oyiza Hope

Being A Woman Of Rubies

I am a woman of ruby because I have turned my pain to purpose, I have turned my lemon to wine. While I was brutally sexually assaulted and stabbed, I have made the decision to use that experience to ensure no woman has to go through that again just because she wants to make ends meet. I am a woman of rubies because, through my pain, I have seen purpose.

 For Young Women Who Aspire To Be Where I Am 

Nothing will come easy but keep holding on, and don’t joke with any opportunity around you, it will come in handy in future.

Oyiza Yakubu

3 women Who Inspire Me and Why

My late mother, Olufunmilayo. She was everything a woman should be, I have always admired her strength and whenever I am stuck, I would say, what will my mother do? Elder Olabisi-Ajai, without even knowing me, she gave me a platform to grow on.

Read Also: Women Of Rubies Was Born Out Of My Passion For Humanity

 If I  Could Address The United Nations Assembly on Issues Affecting The Society

I would talk about human trafficking because it’s a menace that brings about other menace like Drug peddling, forced slavery, organ trafficking, sex trafficking etc. If we can uproot the root, the branches will wither.

Follow Oyiza Yakubu on Facebook to learn more about her work.


Three pregnant teenagers among those rescued from baby factories in the Ikotun and Abaranje areas of Lagos said the shame of carrying babies born after r.a.p.e incidents led them to the state.

The teenagers, Joy, 15, Happiness, 17 and Favour, 17, were part of the 19 pregnant persons and four children rescued recently from baby factories in the communities.

The locations, according to the police, are Adisa Street, Ikotun; Owosho Street, Governor Road, Ikotun; Olugbeyohun Street, Olakunle bus stop, Abaranje; and Anomo Street, Abaranje.

Men from the Isheri Osun Police Station were said to have stormed the buildings on September 19, and arrested two suspects, a “nurse” and “caregiver” while their ringleader, one Oluchi, is still at large.

Narrating the events leading to her stay in the clandestine home, Happiness told City Round that she was gang-raped by three young men at a bar in Awka, Anambra State, where she worked as an attendant.

She stated that her boss gave her concoctions to abort the pregnancy to no avail and sent her back to her village in Agwata .

The teenager said she was ashamed to return to her parents with pregnancy, especially when she could not tell who was responsible for it.

While she was looking for where she could stay till she was delivered of the baby, Happiness, who is now seven months pregnant, said a woman called Mama Dada linked her up with Oluchi.

She said, “Mama Dada brought me to Lagos on August 17. She told me a woman takes care of pregnant women and she assured me that the woman would take care of me. I was raped at a bar by three boys. One of them is called Rich. They ran away.

“On the day I was r.a.p.e.d, my friend asked me to drink with them. I told them I don’t take alcohol. They persuaded me and after taking it, I slept off. I woke up and found out they had pulled off my clothes and raped me.

“I told my boss and she informed her husband. They gave me some concoctions to abort the pregnancy, but it didn’t work. My parents are in the village. They are farmers. My mother warned me while I was leaving the village not to come back home with pregnancy.

“I am ashamed of myself. I don’t know who the pregnancy belongs to among the three men. Mama Dada did not tell me the woman (Oluchi) would sell the baby.”

Joy, 15, from Akwa Ibom State, looked tired and depressed. Her pregnancy, which is in the eighth month, outweighs her fragile posture. She appeared dishevelled and could hardly coordinate her thoughts.

“It was a boy called John that impregnated me. He raped me. One aunty brought me to Lagos. I don’t remember her name. They promised to give me N300,000 after I gave birth. Since I got there, I took garri in the morning,” she disclosed, trying to wipe off the sweat on her face.

“I am not happy with this condition. I am too young to be pregnant. I want to go back to school,” she added. She kept mum when asked about her parents.

Favour, a 17-year-old girl from Mbaise in Imo State, explained that she was raped by her cousin, one Emeka, which resulted in the pregnancy, adding that her uncle handed her over to Oluchi.

She said, “It was my cousin who raped me. I went to visit my uncle that day but he was not around. I met only Emeka at home. He started touching me and before I knew it, he dragged me to the floor and r.a.p.e.d me. My uncle asked me to follow Madam Oluchi to Lagos because of the shame.”

She claimed that the agreement she had with Oluchi was that the baby would be given out for adoption, adding that she was not aware of the plan to sell the baby.

Another victim, Maureen Gift, 20, from Omagwa, Rivers State, said she agreed to stay with Oluchi in Lagos because her boyfriend rejected the pregnancy and her parents chased her away.

She stated, “My boyfriend was maltreating me. He said he didn’t need the baby. He sent me away and I went back to my parents’ home. I went back to appeal to him. He asked me to go away and threatened to kill me.

“When my mother started mounting pressure on me to leave, I became confused. I met with a midwife who introduced me to her brother in Lagos. The man came to Rivers and we left for Lagos. My plan was that after giving birth, I would find something to do in Lagos. I didn’t know they wanted to sell my baby when I gave birth.”

But a 25-year-old woman, who gave her name only as Kelechi, was fully aware of her mission in Lagos. She had decided to sell her baby for N200,000 upon delivery because her boyfriend denied responsibility for the pregnancy.

Another pregnant woman, Ana Oma from Rivers State, said, “Madam Oluchi promised me N500, 000 if the baby is a boy and N300, 000 if it is a girl. I agreed. But some days after, I started having bad dreams. I told the caregiver living with us to give me money to go back but she ignored me.”

One of the two suspects arrested, Mrs Sherifat Ipaye, a self-acclaimed nurse, denied knowing Oluchi. The secondary school leaver said she was engaged by the caregiver, Mrs Happiness Ukwuoma, claiming that she was not aware the babies were being sold.

She said, “I am a nurse. I learnt it from one of my brothers who has a hospital in Ketu and later I worked at a hospital on Ijegun Road. Madam Happiness called me sometime in July that she had some pregnant women she would bring for me to help deliver of their babies. I said I would collect N20, 000 per delivery but we negotiated and agreed on N15, 000.

“She had brought three women so far. They only spent a day in my house. Once they gave birth, she would come for the mother and the baby, but I don’t know where she took them to. She just gave me money for one job. She still owes me N30, 000. I was handling the fourth one when policemen came and arrested me. I knew what I did is illegal. All I want is forgiveness.”

Ukwuoma, who was in charge of a two-bedroom apartment used for one of the baby factories in Ikotun, said Oluchi placed her on a monthly salary of N20,000, adding that she had handed over three babies to her so far.

She said, “I am from Orlu in Imo State. I am only taking care of the pregnant women at the apartment she (Oluchi) rented in Ikotun. I started working for her in June and she paid me N20, 000 every month. Nine pregnant women were with me when the police came. Since we have been working together, three pregnant women had given birth.

“She took the babies away and paid their mothers. I don’t know how much she gave them. It was through my husband that I knew her. He was a commercial driver and Oluchi once boarded his bus from Imo to Lagos.”

Handing the victims over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, said the command was closing in on the prime suspect and other members of the syndicate.

NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Lagos, Mr Daniel Atokolo, said the victims would be rehabilitated and profiled to get more facts on the case.

He said, “We will profile them to know those behind the trafficking otherwise it will continue to be a vicious circle. Those who have good news for us may not go immediately because we need them in our investigation and at the point of prosecution as witnesses.”

Source: Ladun Liadi

Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency said it has found thousands of missing girls and women in southern Mali, many of whom were sold as sex slaves.

According to the agency, NAPTIP, there are between 20,000 and 45,000 kidnapped Nigerian women in Mali it intends to return to Nigeria.

General Julie Okah-Donli, NAPTIP Director, said the women mostly came from rural areas of six different states in Nigeria.

“They were tricked into going to Mali by giving them the impression they were going to get jobs in hotels, for example,” Okah-Donli told Al Jazeera.

“Some were actually abducted while going to school.

“There are over one million Nigerian residents in Mali, out of which about 20,000 are trapped into forced prostitution. The conditions are horrible. They are kept in the thick of the forest where they cannot escape and with the ‘madames’ watching over them.”

According to a 2018 report by the US State Department, human trafficking is a major problem in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigerian victims of human trafficking were found in about 40 different countries, the report stated, adding that “80 percent of all female Nigerian migrants in Italy are or will become sex workers.


Culled from Al Jazeera