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Politician, wife and medical ‘middleman’ found guilty of organ harvesting plot

A Nigerian senator, his spouse and a medical “middleman”, were found guilty of conspiring with a market trader to transport his kidney to the UK.

The trial of Ike Ekweremadu (60), his wife Beatrice (56), and his 25-year-old daughter Sonia, was held for conspiracy to bring the man from Lagos to Britain to get his body part.

According to some reports, the 21-year old street trader was to receive a reward for donating the organ Sonia Ekweremadu in a private PS80,000 procedure at London’s Royal Free Hospital.

Dr Obinna Obeta (50), the medical “middleman”, has been found guilty.


Sonia, the daughter of The Ekweremadus, 25, who suffers from a severe kidney condition, wept when she was released from the same charges.

This case is the first to be tried under the Modern Slavery Act for organ harvesting conspiracies.

Image Sonia Ekweremadu

Although it is legal to donate a kidney it becomes illegal if you receive money or other material advantages.

According to the prosecution, the donor was promised a better life in Britain and a PS7,000 payment.

The Old Bailey learned that the donor didn’t understand the need for a kidney transplant until his first consultation with a hospital consultant.

According to the consultant, he had a limited understanding of why he was there. He was also “visibly relieved” when he was told that the operation would not proceed.

In an unsuccessful attempt to convince medics at the Royal Free Hospital to perform the procedure, it was claimed that the man was presented falsely as Sonia’s cousin.

Legal reasons prevent the donor from being identified.

The Ekweremadus, who are located in Willesden Green (northern London), and Dr Obeta (from Southwark, South London), denied the charges against them.

Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy thanked the survivor for his bravery and encouraged people to be aware of other victims modern slavery, which he stated is “all around” them.

Joanne Jakymec, the prosecutor, called it “horrific” and stated that the defendants showed “utter disregard for the victim’s welfare and health.”

Victim came to the police station crying

After learning that he didn’t have any counselling or advice regarding the risks of surgery, and also lacking the funds to provide the care he needed, Dr Peter Dupont from the Royal Free Hospital concluded that the donor wasn’t a suitable candidate.

Unperturbed, a “corrupt translator” was allegedly hired for PS1,500 to assist at the second hospital meeting of the donor and a surgeon.

After the young man fled London, he slept rough for several days, before he entered a Staines police station, Surrey, crying and in disarray.

Image Beatrice Ekweremadu

He said to police that he didn’t understand why he was brought to the UK. Dr Dupont met him and told him: “The doctor said that I was too young. But the man said that if I did not do it here, he would take me back to Nigeria.

“I was outside sleeping for three days, searching for help to save my life.

In their trial, the defendants stated that they believed the donor was acting “altruistically”.

The Ekweremadus claimed that after their unsuccessful transplant bid, they turned to Turkey to find potential donors.

Politician believed he was being’scammed

Ike Ekweremadu is a Nigerian-Dubai property owner who claimed he trusted the doctors but was suspicious that he was being “scammed”.

Hugh Davies KC, prosecutor, asked Hugh Davies KC about the treatment of the donor. You felt that you owed nothing to him because he was going get work and would be paid the 3.5million naira.

The senator responded: “Never. It was a huge scam.

They were asked by the couple why they didn’t ask their family member to donate a kidney for their daughter.

The prosecutor was compelled to state that it was better to buy one than to leave the medical risk to someone you don’t know.

Sonia Ekweremadu is a dialysis patient who declined to testify. However, it was stated that she did not know of any reward for donors.

Justice Johnson ordered the defendants in custody to be remanded for sentencing on May 5.


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