“I Slept With 20-25 Men Every Day…”

Her heart skipped a beat. Could it be that fortune had finally shone its face on her impoverished family? That she would finally leave the ‘hellhole’ she called home? “So, I won’t have to pay anything here,” she naively quipped, trying to process the enormity of the offer that had been so coyly presented. “Nothing. You will, of course, pay back once you reach Europe.” His toothless smile bordered on benign. But desperation dimmed the warning bells ringing within. Miss Beauty John accepted and the spirited 19-year-old prepared the scanty belongings she had in Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria, for the ‘trip of a lifetime’.

It was 2015. Beauty tearfully kissed her mum and younger siblings farewell, promising she would call upon her arrival in Europe. The car first went to Kano State, where she was roughly pushed into another vehicle with several other intrepid travellers. Their destination was Agadez, Niger. As the vehicle hastily traversed the desert terrain at midnight, Beauty plucked up the courage to ask about the plane she would board to Europe. “Shut up, girl” was the only answer she got. There was no going back. In Agadez, Beauty was placed inside a Hilux vehicle alongside almost 20 others. A tortuous four-day journey through the Sahara Desert lay ahead. The sun beat relentlessly, the young Nigerian clinging onto a wooden stick as the vehicle hurtled through the endless dunes at breakneck speeds.

When Beauty arrived in Libya, a ‘connection-man’ was awaiting her. But the conditions on which she set out on her journey were about to be radically revised. She would have to ‘pay her ticket’ to Europe, he stoically informed her. How? By selling her own body for sex. Beauty convulsed, blurting out that this was not she travelled for. “That’s not my business; you belong to me now,” he retorted, striking her to the ground with a vicious blow. Beauty had been sold into sexual slavery – by her own countrymen. It took the teenager almost six months to raise the requisite money to ‘buy’ her freedom – an equivalent of N400,000. “I slept with between 20 to 25 men every day,” she winningly reminisced of her days in prostitution. Innocence robbed in the cruellest, most callous of fashions.

What transpired in the next 1,000 days are beyond what words can adequately convey. Beauty spent three long years in Libya – which she described as “hell on earth” – longing for the day she would ‘cross over’ to Europe. She worked as a cleaner in a hospital to support herself, saving up her meagre income to secure her journey. Finally setting sail in a makeshift rubber dinghy in late 2018, along with almost 100 others, Beauty had not even reached International Waters when their ship was flagged down by the Libyan coastguard. She was promptly imprisoned and finally repatriated back to Nigeria. “I came back with literally nothing,” she stated, adding that the clothes on her back were provided courtesy of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). “I wasted three years of my life in Libya,” Beauty concluded. “But God kept me alive for a purpose – so my life can be a lesson to others. I plead with my fellow Nigerian youth not to take such a journey and end up in prostitution, like I did.”

Beauty was among the 60 Nigerians deported from Libya who came to The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on Friday 14th September 2018, where they were given N2m by Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV Partners to help start their lives afresh in Nigeria.


Udekwe Kennedy Obinna

Udekwe Kennedy Obinna

Udekwe had cried to a point where tears flowed no more. Every moral fiber within him was shaken at the gruesome sight. Yesterday, they had eaten together. Joked together. Dreamt together. Now, he had become nothing more than a statistic – another forlorn figure to add to the growing number of lives lost at sea in search of something that never materialized. His lifeless face still bore the look of untold horrors. His closest friend – drowned. “If I get through this, I’ll tell the story he never could,” the young migrant firmly resolved. He offered a silent prayer and dug a shallow grave…

Udekwe Kennedy Obinna was jobless for three years. After graduating from Nnamdi Azikwe University in Music, disappointment marred every attempt to translate his talents into a lucrative occupation. Thus, when his senior brother began posting luring pictures of his time in Europe, claiming it was a “land flowing in milk and honey”, Udekwe fell hook, line and sinker. It would be an easy journey, they told him. He would reach Italy in under a week. The young man ended up spending two years in Libya – a timespan he later referred to as “living hell”.

The journey through the Sahara Desert was tortuous. After two days in the blistering sun, water supplies ended. When they pulled up to an aged well in the midst of the desert, thirst blinded reason. Even though a fresh human corpse lay within the water, Udekwe drank – as did his thirty other travelers. The remains of unfortunate victims who succumbed to the horrific conditions lay strewn across the desert floor. “We never waited for anyone who dies on the journey; they just throw their body onto the sand,” he recounted.

Udekwe Kennedy Obinna

Udekwe Kennedy Obinna and other Libya deportees

Arriving in Libya, Udekwe was sold into slavery. “All the girls were forced into prostitution and the men were beaten to compel their families into paying a ransom,” he explained. Obinna languished for two months in the custody of his heartless captors. When his family finally raised sufficient funds for his release – N220,000 – he was captured again and resold to a Libyan lady. Managing to escape her iron first one night, he finally made his way to the seashore – preparing to take a rickety rubber dinghy alongside 180 others hoping beyond hope that favorable weather would enable his safe arrival to Europe.

Three hours later, the engine failed and water began seeping into the boat. The fuel leak mixed with salty water to produce a toxic substance which left exposed skin horribly burnt. Fearing the worst, Udekwe jumped into the water and began to swim. He mustered enough strength to make it back to shore – where he was promptly recaptured.

After a five-month incarceration in a Libyan prison, Udekwe was among the Nigerians deported back home on Tuesday 5th June 2018. His first point of call, alongside 90 others, was The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations. “I came here to thank God for keeping me alive and to warn my fellow African youths to NEVER undertake such a journey,” he candidly told congregants. “Please, you can save a soul,” he passionately pleaded. “If you know anyone who is considering such a journey, do everything within your power to stop them. They are going on a suicide mission where out of 100, only one survives.”

The Anambra State indigene was among those who received N3,000,000 from Prophet T.B. Joshua upon their visit to The SCOAN – aid to enable them to start lives afresh back in Nigeria.


Young Nigerians continue to attempt an illegal, torturous and – in their own words – “suicidal journey” to Europe through Libya. More than 50 who were deported from Libya earlier this week came to The SCOAN on Friday 11th May 2018, recounting horrific tales of the dehumanising treatment and life-threatening dangers they encountered. To make matters worse, these youngsters never achieved their elusive goal of reaching foreign shores. Their journey was cut short in Libya where they were left with only the harshest of life experiences and memories of things they would prefer left untold.

Back in Nigeria with nothing but the clothes on their backs, they felt it necessary to come to The SCOAN – even if just to hear a word that would help them get back on their feet. Upon seeing their condition, Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV Team encouraged them with words of hope, provided food and refreshments, before giving a cash gift of N1.7m ($4,700) – to give them a solid foundation to start life afresh back in their homeland.

We pray that their dreadful experiences would dishearten others from making the same notorious journey they embarked upon!


Over 100 Nigerians who were deported from Libya came to The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on Thursday 29th March 2018 to seek shelter and refuge. They were given the sum of N3.3m ($10,000) alongside a bag of rice each to start their lives afresh after the unspeakable ordeals they encountered during their illegal attempts to travel abroad.

Among those that narrated their despairing suffering was Bettina Duke, 28, who recently graduated from the Federal Polytechnic in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Brimming with life and a spirited view of its prospects, the entrepreneurial lady seemed the least likely person to fall victim to a desperation-fuelled trap. But the devil has a way of cunningly worming himself in. “I knew the dangers of crossing the sea,” she admitted. However, the lavish picture painted of dazzling Italian streets lined with limitless opportunities corroded common sense. Little did Bettina know the dangers before the sea even eclipsed the dangers on them.

After blithely agreeing to the ‘terms’ involved, Bettina sold the few belongings she had to raise the sum of N600,000 ($1,600) which she was told would pay for the entirety of her trip from Nigeria to Europe. “You will be there in less than a month,” they reassuringly insisted, eager to quash doubt before it even arose. Thus, the journey of nine months “through hell” began.

The first leg of the trip from Agadez, Niger to Sabba, Libya through the tortuous Sahara Desert remains a tear-soaked one that Bettina can never forget. “124 people died in my presence in the desert,” she recalled, shuddering at the memory. “They would just throw the body from the vehicle and keep going.” Not even a shallow grave for the fallen ones, who succumbed to dehydration and starvation.

By the time Bettina’s ten-day desert ordeal ended, she learned the horrifying reality that the money paid to secure her safe passage to Europe had equally ended. “I was sold into slavery upon arrival in Libya,” she continued, wincing at the mere recollection. Her new ‘owner’ proved to have a motive beyond mere money. “He insisted that I sleep with him. When I refused, he took a sharp iron poll and inserted it roughly into my…” Tears would not allow her to proceed. His vile cackle as she lay writhing on the floor in pain still haunts her worst nightmares. “They said I must ‘work’ to regain my freedom,” she continued, each statement punctuated by tears. The ‘work’? Prostitution. Bettina had to sleep with “40 men daily” to satisfy the demands of her captor and his cohorts.

Desperate to find a way out after witnessing the unspeakable depravity in such ‘business’, Bettina lied that she had a hereditary heart problem and could not continue. Beaten by her ‘madam’ for refusal to meet the ‘clients’, she adopted extreme measures. “I stabbed myself so hard that blood began flowing everywhere.” Dizzied and weakened by the loss of blood, Bettina was taken to a local hospital. The end seemed nigh. “After everything, I was kicked back out onto the streets.” She regained ‘freedom’ at the price of almost losing her life. Defiantly determined to proceed, Bettina met a fellow Nigerian man who promised to ‘help’. Unbeknown to her, he was also in the human trafficking business and planned to “sell her” once again into prostitution. Hoping to tame his temper and prevent this plan, she reluctantly agreed to his predatory sexual advances.

Finally, the chance to ‘cross’ the Mediterranean Sea arrived. With over 100 others, Bettina was ‘pushed’ on a make-shift rubber dinghy into the dangerous ocean. Their boat never even reached Italian waters. Sighted by the Libyan coast guard mid-journey, all aboard were roughly returned to their point of origin and promptly imprisoned. At last, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) helped secure her deportation to Nigeria. “I can never advise my worst enemy to undertake such a journey,” the young Nigerian advised her fellow youths. “I thank Prophet T.B. Joshua for giving me this gift to start life again back home.”

Bettina was among the 100 deportees who came to The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on Thursday 29th March 2018 and received N3.3m alongside a bag of rice each from Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV Partners.