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Sen Ekweremadu, wife, doctor found guilty of organ trafficking in UK



A crown court jury in the United Kingdom, has found Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice and a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta, guilty of organ trafficking.

The jury on Tursdayagreed that they criminally conspired to bring a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.

The judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, said sentencing would be passed on them at a later date.

A UK court has found former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice and their family doctor, Obinna Obeta, guilty of organ trafficking.

Ekweremadu, Beatrice and Obeta who have been standing trial for allegedly conspiring to bring 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London for the purpose of harvesting his kidney for their ailing daughter, were found guilty by the jury of the Old Bailey’s Court on Thursday in the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.

The judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, said sentencing would be passed on them at a later date.

The guilty verdict brings to an end the six week trial of the former number four man in Nigeria following charges of “illegal and criminal conspiracy in luring the victim from Nigeria to harvest his organ for their ailing daughter, Sonia,” the prosecutor Hugh Davies KC, told the court.

Read also:Ex-Minister accuses UK of denying Ekweremadu’s daughter of kidney transplant, begs Nigerian govt to intervene

Davies said the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward,” adding that “they entered an emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the young man.

“The behaviour of Ekweremadu, a successful lawyer and founder of an anti-poverty charity who helped draw up Nigeria’s laws against organ trafficking, showed entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy,” Davies told the jury.

He added that the Nigerian lawmaker who owns several properties and had a staff of 80, “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact.”

“What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty,” the prosecutor said.

The lawmaker who was arrested last year, has been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the young man about their alleged plans to harvest his organ.

The former Senate President had denied the charges and told the court he was the victim of a scam, while Obeta, who also denied the charge, claimed the victim was not offered a reward for his kidney and was acting altruistically.

Ekweremadu’s wife, on her part, had denied any knowledge of the alleged conspiracy while their sick daughter, was shielded from giving evidence.

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