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nothing voodoo with me Husband of convicted sex-slave trafficker claims he didn't know what was going on

At a hearing this week in Mullingar Circuit Court, two women were jailed for more than five years, while Desmond received 27 months suspended

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Desmond Osaighbovo, who was convicted of money laundering, says there was no juju ceremony

Desmond Osaighbovo, who was convicted of money laundering, says there was no juju ceremony

Desmond Osaighbovo, who was convicted of money laundering, says there was no juju ceremony

The husband of a woman who became one of the first people convicted of trafficking sex slaves into Ireland says he didn't know what was going on.

Desmond Osaighbovo had been accused of trafficking, organising prostitution and money laundering along with his wife Edith Enoghaghase (31) and another woman, Alicia Edosa (46).

While the women were found guilty of various charges, Desmond was acquitted of everything except four money laundering counts, and given a suspended sentence.

At a hearing this week in Mullingar Circuit Court the two women were jailed for more than five years, while Desmond received 27 months suspended.

Four victims told how they had undergone 'juju' rituals in Nigeria, which had left them in fear of death if they tried to escape after being forced to work in brothels all over Ireland.

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Desmond Osaighbovo speaks to our man Eamon Dillon at his home

Desmond Osaighbovo speaks to our man Eamon Dillon at his home

Desmond Osaighbovo speaks to our man Eamon Dillon at his home

 

When approached by the Sunday World this week Osaighbovo said he knew nothing about what was going on, but asked if it meant anyone could now walk into a garda station claiming they were threatened with a voodoo curse.

"This is a case someone can threaten me, someone with voodoo, and they can go to garda station, say someone is going to kill me with voodoo.

"Somebody said they threaten me with voodoo and they came to arrest you. There is no evidence of text message or text and basically there was none of the voodoo ceremony," he said. "I don't really know what happened."

Asked about a gun attack on him in Nigeria which was mentioned in court, he said it had nothing to do with what his wife Edith had been convicted of.

"Everything is OK, I don't really have much to say about this. You see what happened in the court, the judge says I have to be in my own space of myself here. I don't need any media stuff to put myself in any kind of media space."

When asked if he believed in voodoo, he replied: "I'm a Christian, I do not believe in voodoo.

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"I'm not a criminal, I don't belong in any gang."

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Alicia Edosa and Edith Enoghaghase

Alicia Edosa and Edith Enoghaghase

Alicia Edosa and Edith Enoghaghase

 

At the sentence hearing, Judge Francis Comerford said he had to accept Osaighbovo was acquitted by the jury of controlling prostitution.

Judge Comerford said Desmond Osaighbovo was "reckless" as to where the money in his account came from and that he was not of good character, pointing to his 30 previous convictions at District Court level, mostly for road traffic offences.

Because a prison sentence would deprive the couple's three children of both their parents, he suspended the 27-month sentence in full.

Judge Comerford imposed a jail term of five years and eight months on Edosa backdated to April 14, 2019 when she was first placed in custody for convictions under the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008

He sentenced Enoghaghase to five years and one month in prison for the same offences backdated to her conviction on June 10, 2021

Judge Comerford also criticised the lack of regulation when it comes to advertising prostitution, referring to the website Escort Ireland, set up by convicted pimp Peter McCormick.

"It makes it ridiculously easy to advertise the services of people who are compelled to engage in prostitution against their will," he said.

The garda investigation began in May 2018 when two women walked into Store Street Garda Station and reported that they were being forced to work as prostitutes.

Gardai were alerted to another victim by the authorities in the UK, where the woman gave her account of being a sex slave in Ireland while going through the asylum process.

A fourth victim came forward after an Irish friend helped her leave the vice operation and gave her a place to live.

Three of the women were in court this week as their victim impact statements were read out, in which they described how they were lured to Ireland and forced into prostitution.

They each had been approached in their native country and offered jobs in Ireland and were later supplied with bogus travel documents.

One woman told how she realised what work she was expected to do when she was brought to a sex shop in Dublin shortly after her arrival at Dublin Airport.

The women were told they owed various sums for the fare to traffic them to Ireland - the highest amount being €60,000 and the lowest €35,000.

Edith and her husband brought their three kids along when they picked up one of the victims at Dublin Airport in July 2017.

One victim said she was dressed in lingerie and made to pose for photos which were used to advertise her online as a prostitute. The women ended up working in brothels all over Ireland.

The woman who managed to escape to the UK with the help of a client said the defendants had earned €46,000 from her "blood and sweat" from which she didn't "get a dime".

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