Nigerian Senator Ike Ekweremadu, wife Beatrice and a doctor guilty of organ trafficking to UK
Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice were both found guilty in the Old Bailey
A Nigerian politician has been found guilty of organ trafficking in Britain in the first case of its kind.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, wife Beatrice, 56, and ‘middleman’ Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, were all found guilty of conspiring to exploit a young man from Lagos for an organ.
Their daughter Sonia burst out in tears as the jury, which deliberated for nearly 14 hours, cleared her of the same charge.
It is the first time defendants have been convicted under the Modern Slavery Act of an organ harvesting conspiracy.
The case unfolded when the victim ran away from a property in London where he was being held and treated like a ‘slave’.
The 21-year-old slept rough for days before walking into a police station in north-west Surrey, reporting he had been trafficked from the West African country.
Working as a street trader in Nigeria, he was brought to the UK last year to have his kidney harvested for Sonia, who was diagnosed with a rare disease, and is on dialysis.
The £80,000 private transplant was due to take place at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The Old Bailey heard the man was offered up to £7,000 and promised a better life here.
But a Royal Free consultant rejected him as unsuitable. At this point, Ekweremadus transferred their interest to Turkey and set about finding another donor.
Following the guilty verdicts, Mr Justice Johnson remanded the defendants into custody to be sentenced on May 5.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Joanne Jakymec said: ‘This was a horrific plot to exploit a vulnerable victim by trafficking him to the UK for the purpose of transplanting his kidney.
‘The convicted defendants showed utter disregard for the victim’s welfare, health and wellbeing and used their considerable influence to a high degree of control throughout, with the victim having limited understanding of what was really going on here.’
Beatrice Ekweremadu leaving the Old Bailey (Picture: Getty)
Ike Ekweremadu will be sentenced along his wife on May 5 (Picture: Met Police)
Medical ‘middleman’ Dr Obinna Obeta (Picture: Met Police)
Sonia Ekweremadu with her prospective donor (Picture: PA)
My view: Nigeria lawmakers are wicked, they don't give a toss about millions of their fellow citizens who cannot afford to pay hospital bills and do not have monthly Income Support to sustain themselves. Yet the greedy Senators earn over N40million (£75,000) monthly. They can afford to fly their family abroad for treatment, while poor Nigerians suffer, so sad, the evil that some people do lives with them. I feel sorry for their daughter may God heal her.