Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and a doctor were found to have broken the Modern Slavery Act when they tried to use a young man for his kidney.
By MandyNews.com, with additional reporting from Arise TV
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, was the former vice president of the Nigerian Senate. He, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr. Obinna Obeta, 51, were all found guilty of organ trafficking under the Modern Slavery Act.
This was a very important case. The verdict was reached after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.
The three were found guilty of plotting to bring a 21-year-old street vendor from Lagos to London and use him for his kidney, which was meant for Sonia, the daughter of the senator.
She had to drop out of her master’s degree in film at Newcastle University due to kidney disease. The victim, whose name is being kept secret, was given an illegal reward to give blood.
In February 2022, the young man was told by a private renal unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London that he was Sonia’s cousin. This was a failed attempt to get an $80,000 transplant.
For a fee, a medical secretary at the hospital helped the man communicate with the doctors in Igbo. This helped the doctors believe that the man was a generous donor.
Hugh Davies KC, the prosecutor, said that the defendants thought of the victim and other possible donors as “disposable assets” and treated their deal with the young man as an “emotionally cold business transaction.”
He emphasized that what they did was wrong and illegal, even though the senator loved his daughter.
Ekweremadu, a successful lawyer who started a charity to help people in poverty and wrote Nigeria’s laws against organ trafficking, denied the charges and said he had been tricked.
Obeta also denied the charges, saying that the man didn’t get paid for his kidney and did it out of kindness. Beatrice claimed no knowledge of the conspiracy, while Sonia did not provide evidence.
WhatsApp messages presented in court showed that Obeta charged Ekweremadu 4.5 million naira (about £8,000) for an “agent fee” and a “donor fee.”
In his visa application and hospital records, both Ekweremadu and Obeta said that the victim was Sonia’s cousin, which was not true.
Davies said that Ekweremadu ignored medical advice and tried to find a donor among real family members.
He said, “There was never any plan for a close, medium, or distant family member to do what could be paid for from a pool of donors.”
Mr. Justice Jeremy Johnson will be sentenced at a later date.
Share your story with us! Email MandyNews1@gmail.com