Nigerian ‘Juju’ Nurse Josephine Iyamu Gets Jail Term Increased To 18 Years
A Nigerian-born British nurse, Josephine Iyamu, who was accused of using ‘juju’ (voodoo) threats to traffic vulnerable women from Nigeria to Germany to work as prostitutes has had her prison sentence increased from 14 to 18 years.
The 52-year-old London-based nurse was said to have forced five women to swear oaths to hand money over to her during “juju” ceremonies.
Iyamu’s victims were forced to drink blood containing worms, eat chicken hearts, have their skin cut with razor blades and made to take an oath not to try to escape or tell the police.
She was convicted of sex trafficking offences and jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for 14 years.
However, Judges at the Court of Appeal have raised her jail term to 18 years.
Iyamu is the first person to be convicted under Modern Slavery Act laws passed in 2015, allowing prosecutions of British citizens for overseas sexual trafficking.
Her husband, 60-year-old Efe Ali-Imaghodor, was acquitted of doing acts intending to pervert the course of justice.
At the time of her initial conviction, the NCA said Iyamu “enlisted the help of a voodoo priest to put them through a ‘juju’ ceremony; a ritual designed to exert control over the women”.
“They were threatened with serious harm to them or their families if they broke the oath.”
It was gathered that Solicitor General Robert Buckland had challenged the jail term handed to Iyamu at the Court of Appeal.
Mr Buckland urged three judges to find the sentence imposed in July as “far too low”.
Lord Justice Davis, Mrs Justice Simler and Mr Justice Dove ruled that the total sentence imposed was “unduly lenient”.