A United Kingdom court has found Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, guilty of organ trafficking.
The couple were found guilty alongside a medical doctor, Dr. Obinna Obeta.
They were convicted for facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
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He said he was promised opportunities in the UK for helping, and that he only realised what was going on when he met doctors at the hospital.
While it is lawful to donate a kidney, it is criminal if there is a reward of money or other material advantage.
When he was rejected as unsuitable, the court heard the Ekweremadus transferred their interest to Turkey and set about finding another donor.
The Ekweremadus, who have an address in Willesden Green, north-west London, and Dr Obeta, from Southwark, south London, had denied the charge against them.
Sonia, Ekweremadu’s daughter who was cleared of the charges, has a kidney-related disease and has been on dialysis for some time, the court was told.
Prosecutors claim the plot was to harvest the man’s organ for her benefit.
They were arrested after the young man, who previously lived on the streets of Lagos, turned up at Staines police station, claiming he was the victim of trafficking.
The man told officers he had arrived in the UK on 20 February, 2022, and had been taken to Royal Free Hospital for tests, none of which he consented to.
After these tests, the man said he had returned to the house he had been staying in, where he was ‘treated effectively as a slave’. He said he escaped the address and was homeless for three days before going to the police.
The former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate and his wife were arrested in the UK on 21 June after flying in to Heathrow from Turkey.
While the lawmaker and the doctor were remanded in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Belmarsh respectively, the wife was granted bail at a hearing in July.
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