BREAKING NEWS: Nigerian Couple, John and Godever Ibechem Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison…For Sneaking a Nigerian woman illegally into USA, Paid her $20 weekly * ‘The couple treated the Nigerian woman as A SLAVE’-United States District Court Judge Edward Smith * NANNY was swindled out of about $205,000 in wages, prosecutors * ‘I felt trapped. I thought I was going to die’-Nigerian Nanny * Ibechems plead guilty, Agreed to pay the woman $50,000 as part a plea deal * ‘We plotted to smuggle the woman in to care for our two sons, ages 1 and 2, and didn’t pay her minimum wage’-Nigerian couple confessed BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU, FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES

BREAKING NEWS:
Nigerian Couple, John and Godever Ibechem Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison…For Sneaking a Nigerian woman illegally into USA, Paid her $20 weekly
* ‘The couple treated the Nigerian woman as A SLAVE’-United States District Court Judge Edward Smith
* NANNY was swindled out of about $205,000 in wages, prosecutors
* ‘I felt trapped. I thought I was going to die’-Nigerian Nanny
* Ibechems plead guilty, Agreed to pay the woman $50,000 as part a plea deal
* ‘We plotted to smuggle the woman in to care for our two sons, ages 1 and 2, and didn’t pay her minimum wage’-Nigerian couple confessed

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU, FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES
JOHN AND GODEVER NGOZI OLEBARA-IBECHEM are born Nigerian couple, who are Naturalized Americans resident in Palmer Township area of Pennsylvania, United States. They were in the news for sneaking an elderly Nigerian woman into the country illegally and forcefully made her work illegally as ‘A Slave’ to cater for the couples’ toddlers. For years, this Nanny who was coerced to use the United States passport of John’s mother (already late) to enter the country unlawfully was given $20 at the end of every week as salary contrary to American labour law.
This Pennsylvania couple has been sentenced to federal prison by a federal court for sneaking a Nigerian woman into the country so she could essentially become what a federal judge calls “a slave.”
The couple were sentenced few days ago to serve nine months each (a total of 18 months) according to The Express-Times in Easton. The Nanny “essentially became a slave,” according to U.S. District Court Judge Edward Smith.
This Palmer Township couple agreed they plotted to smuggle the woman in to care for their two sons, ages 1 and 2, and didn’t pay her minimum wage. She was 54 when she posed as John Ibechem’s mother, who was actually dead, and used the mother’s passport to enter the U.S. unlawfully.
This Nigerian Nanny provided around-the-clock care for the children and was paid about $20 every other week. She was swindled out of about $205,000 in wages, prosecutors said. “I felt trapped. I thought I was going to die,” the Nanny said in a letter read in federal court. She wasn’t in court for the sentencing.
For Defense attorney Gilbert Scutti, he said the couple also sent money to the nanny’s family in Nigeria. His words: “I’m not going to say it was all roses when she was here, but we’re not talking about physical abuse, sexual abuse or deprivation of liberty.”
The Ibechems plead guilty, agreed to pay the Nanny woman the sum of $50,000 as part a plea deal. John claims maltreatment of persons are never in his character, as he said he and his wife wouldn’t treat someone like an indentured servant. “That’s not my nature. That’s not in my family’s nature,”John said.
Additional reports from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times

Filed in: International

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