When he is sentenced in Britain on Friday for conspiring to obtain a man’s kidney for his ill daughter, Nigeria’s Former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Ike Ekweremadu, 60, was convicted guilty of conspiring to traffic the teenage street trader into Britain for a body part in March at London’s Old Bailey criminal court, marking the first instance of its sort in the United Kingdom. Beatrice, Ekweremadu’s 56-year-old wife, and Obinna Obeta, a 50-year-old doctor who served as the scheme’s middleman, were both found guilty. They will be sentenced on Friday as well.
Sonia, the 25-year-old daughter of the Ekweremadu’s, sobbed as she was acquitted of the same allegation following a nearly 14-hour jury deliberation.
Donating a kidney is permitted in Britain, but not in exchange for money or other tangible goods. It was the first time accusations of an organ harvesting conspiracy had been made under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act from that year. The law allows for a life sentence as the maximum punishment.
Detective Inspector Esther Richardson, from the Metropolitan Police’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Command, called it a “landmark conviction” and thanked the victim for his “bravery” in coming forward.
The 21-year-old victim from Lagos, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said throughout the trial’s weeks-long proceedings that the Ekweremadus had flown him to Britain to have his kidney harvested.
According to reports, Sonia, who is still receiving dialysis treatment for a renal ailment, would receive the kidney in exchange for up to £7,000 ($8,800).
The individual claimed he was hired by a physician who worked for the politician and had mistakenly believed he was traveling to the UK to find employment.
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