January 31, 2023

Ike Ekweremadu, wife appear in UK court over organ harvesting trial

By Biodun Busari

Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice appeared in a London court on Tuesday ahead of their trial for alleged organ harvesting.

However, Ekweremadu’s daughter was unable to attend as she is in hospital, according to AFP.

Ekweremadu appeared at the Old Bailey court wearing a grey tracksuit top, speaking only to say “Yes, miss” when asked to confirm his name.

The Enugu federal lawmaker and his wife are standing trial along with their daughter Sonia and a doctor for bringing a 21-year-old man from Nigeria to have his kidney removed.

Read Also: Court vacates order for interim seizure of 40 properties linked to Ekweremadu

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly plotted to have a kidney removed from the man so that it could be given to Sonia.

Her defence team has also submitted a psychological report, claiming that Sonia is not fit to stand trial.

The court adjourned soon after convening in order for prosecutors to read the report.

The accuser is said to have raised the alarm after refusing to consent to the procedure, following preliminary tests at a north London hospital.

Charges were brought after the man went to the police. The Ekweremadus were arrested in June last year at London’s Heathrow airport after flying into the UK.

Another man, Obinna Obeta, a 50-year-old doctor from south London, was arrested at a later date.

The trial has been brought forward from a planned date in May.

The Ekweremadus and the doctor are accused of conspiracy to arrange the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, under UK legislation on modern slavery.

The offence is alleged to have taken place between August 2021 and May 2022, AFP said.

Ekweremadu had his bail plea rejected over concerns he might flee Britain and Obeta was also detained. Beatrice and Sonia Ekweremadu are on conditional bail.

Beatrice, dressed all in black, sat next to her husband on the dock during the brief session on Tuesday morning.