In a landmark case, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, have been jailed for their involvement in an organ trafficking plot that saw a young man from Lagos brought to the UK to provide a kidney for their ailing daughter, Sonia.
Ekweremadu, aged 60, and his wife, Beatrice, aged 56, were convicted alongside Dr. Obinna Obeta, aged 50, for conspiring to exploit a young man from Lagos, Nigeria, for the purposes of organ trafficking.
The case, which marked the first of its kind in England and Wales, saw the trio convicted under modern slavery laws, with Ekweremadu receiving a sentence of nine years and eight months in prison, Beatrice receiving four years and six months, and Obeta receiving 10 years imprisonment.
The Old Bailey Court heard that the Ekweremadus had sought a new kidney for their daughter Sonia, who was suffering from kidney failure.
With the help of Dr. Obeta, they targeted a poor street trader in Lagos, who was young, vulnerable, and in need of money.
The victim, aged 21, was allegedly brought to the UK under the guise of a job offer, but upon arrival, he was taken to a hospital to provide a kidney for Sonia.
He agreed to undergo medical tests and meet with doctors in London, believing they were required for his UK visa during the Covid pandemic.
It was only when he met doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London that he realized what was planned.
However, the hospital stopped the £80,000 procedure, and the victim fled in fear of his life.
A year later, he walked into a police station to report what had happened, leading to the conviction of the trio.
Ekweremadu and his wife were arrested on June 23, 2022, and found guilty of facilitating the transportation of the 21-year-old.
Consequently, they were found guilty of organ trafficking and harvesting, along with the who served as a middleman.