Ex Senate President Ike Ekweremadu Sentenced To 10 Years In UK Prison
Ex Senate President Ike Ekweremadu Sentenced To 10 Years In UK Jail For Organ Trafficking
In a shocking verdict, the United Kingdom court has sentenced a former Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, and a medical doctor, Dr Obinna Obeta, for their involvement in an organ trafficking plot. According to reports, they have been sentenced to a total of 23 years in prison for their criminal conspiracy to exploit a 21-year-old Lagos street trader for his kidney.
The trial, which started in March 2023, found the trio guilty of the crime under the Modern Slavery Act. It was the first verdict of its kind under the Act, and it has been viewed as a significant milestone in the fight against organ trafficking in Nigeria and beyond.
As per reports, the young man was falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin in a failed bid to persuade doctors to carry out an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Sonia, who is Ekweremadu’s daughter, had kidney disease, and she dropped out of a master’s degree program in film at Newcastle University. The young man was offered an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia, which he accepted.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, argued that Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the young man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward.” He also added that they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the young man.
In the trial, Ekweremadu’s behavior showed “entitlement, dishonesty, and hypocrisy,” Davies told the jury. The prosecutor noted that Ekweremadu agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter and that he made no inquiries about the donor’s background or circumstances.
Davies went on to add, “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 court sentenced Ekweremadu to nine years and eight months in prison, while his wife, Beatrice, was sentenced to four years six months. Dr Obinna Obeta, who acted as a middleman in the plot, was sentenced to 10 years, and his medical license was also suspended.
The verdict has caused an uproar in Nigeria, and many Nigerians have called for stricter measures to curb organ trafficking in the country. It is hoped that this landmark verdict will serve as a warning to those who engage in this heinous crime and encourage others to join the fight against organ trafficking.