Nigerians facing forced servitude charges

December 11, 2009 10:09:17 AM PST
A Nigerian couple faces charges of forcing a widow from their country to work as an indentured servant for nearly a decade in Texas. A grand jury indicted Emmanuel and Ngozi Nnaji this week on charges of conspiracy, forced labor, document servitude, alien harboring and false statements.

Prosecutors say the couple promised the woman a salary and financial support for her six children in Nigeria. But once she arrived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1997, authorities allege the Nnajis took her travel documents, forced her to work long hours with no days off and refused her requests to return home or be paid.

The Nnajis each face up to 55 years in prison if convicted.

Their attorneys did not immediately respond to messages Friday.