Metro

May 19, 2024

Ekweremadu: We’re begging to hear from our son — Family of David cries out

Ekweremadu: We’re begging to hear from our son — Family of David cries out

By Efe Onodjae— Ebonyi

The family of David Ukpo, who was taken to the United Kingdom by the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, for a kidney transplant has cried out as they have not heard from their son David, following the conviction and sentencing of Ekweremadu.

The former deputy senate president and his wife, Beatrice, were sentenced on March 23, 2023, at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, United Kingdom.

Ekweremadu was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison, while his wife was sentenced to four years and six months in jail for organ trafficking.

Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and Obinna Obeta, a doctor who acted as the middleman, were alleged to have attempted to convince doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London to perform an £80,000 transplant on 21-year-old David Ukpo, who was presented as the cousin of their daughter Sonia Ekweremadu.

Speaking with family members in their village in Ndioffia Ishieke of Ebonyi State, where David Ukpo hails from, they stated that they have not heard from their son since the incident broke out and they don’t know if their son is dead or alive.

The 46-year-old mother of David Ukpo, who gave her name as Mary Ukpo, stated that the last time she saw her son was in November 2021, when he visited the village and since then, she has not heard from him or seen him.

Speaking to our correspondent at the family compound in Ndioffia Ishieke village in Ebonyi State, she said, “I don’t know if my son is alive or not because I have not heard from him since 2022.

“The last time I saw him was in 2021 when he came to the village. I am begging anyone who knows where my son is to please grant me access to speak to him.

“We heard Ike Ekweremadu has been sentenced to prison, but until this very moment, we have not heard from our son. It’s been years now, and I don’t know if he is alive or dead. David is my son and first child. I just gave birth to another child in his absence, which makes it seven younger ones that are next to him.”

With tears, the stepmother of David, who gave her name as Ukpo Felicia, said since David’s departure, the father has been sick with his leg swollen.

She added, “In our tradition, when the second wife gives birth to her first child, it is the duty of the first wife to adopt that child. David is the first child of his mother, which makes it my responsibility as the first wife to look after David. He’s a calm person.

“The first year he left for Lagos, he sent me about N18,000 for feeding, and since his departure, I feel empty within me. We do not know whether he is alive or dead. We just want to have access to speak with our son. The father has been sick and cannot even move his body.”

Further findings from the community members revealed that David Ukpo was born in the early 2000s, with no specific date or year mentioned.

The village shares a border with Benue State and Cross River State via a river called Onu-Enyim River, with a popular Missionary Church called Nigeria Reform Church domiciled in the community. The people of the community are regarded as the Izzi people, with farming and palm wine tapping being their major occupations.

Our correspondent also gathered that the community lives in darkness as there is no electricity connection and no tarred road leading to the community.