Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy president of the Nigerian senate, was given a nine years and eight months prison sentence for a plan to traffic in organs by a court in the United Kingdom.
The court also gave his wife, Beatrice, a four-year, six-month sentence. Dr. Obinna Obeta, the doctor who served as a “middleman” in the scheme, received a ten-year sentence and had his medical license suspended.
The jury concluded in March 2023 that they had criminally conspired to bring a 21-year-old street trader from Lagos to London in order to take advantage of him for his kidney.
The young man allegedly pretended to be Sonia’s cousin in an unsuccessful attempt to convince medical staff to perform a $80,000 private surgery at London’s Royal Free Hospital.
After kidney disease prompted Sonia to withdraw from a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University, the young man was allegedly given an unlawful reward to donate his organs for Sonia.
The Modern Slavery Act’s first conviction of its sort resulted in their conviction.
“Entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”
Hugh Davies KC, the prosecutor, had claimed in court that Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential contributors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
According to him, they had a “commercial transaction” with the individual that was “emotionally cold.”
According to Davies, Ekweremadu’s actions demonstrated “entitlement, dishonesty, and hypocrisy”.
Ekweremadu, according to him, “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – someone in poverty from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact.”
According to Davies, what he agreed to do was not just practical for his daughter Sonia’s medical needs; it was also exploitation and illegal. Saying that he did it out of love for his daughter is not a defense. Her medical requirements cannot be satisfied at the expense of exploiting a person in need.
On March 14, Beatrice denied being involved in Sonia’s parents’ hunt for an organ donor.
Ekweremadu claimed he got the young man involved after his doctor warned him against asking a member of his family to donate a kidney.