UK Court Finds Ekweremadu, Wife Guilty Of Organ Trafficking
A UK court has found former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, guilty of organ trafficking alongside his wife, Beatrice, and Obinna Obeta, a doctor involved in the case.
The trio was accused of conspiring to bring a 21-year-old to London with the intent of exploiting him for his kidney. According to reports by the UK Guardian, this is the first-ever verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
While their daughter, Sonia, was cleared of the charges. Recalled Ekweremadu, his wife, and Obeta were arrested by the London Metropolitan Police in June 2022.
They were alleged to have tried to persuade doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London to perform an £80,000 transplant on the donor who was presented as Sonia’s cousin.
However, during the trial, the couple admitted to lying about the donor’s relationship with them and apologized.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies, told the court that the trio treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward” and entered into an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the 21-year-old.
He further alleged that Ekweremadu, a lawyer and lawmaker, agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter, even though he distanced himself from the donor and made no inquiries.
Ekweremadu denied all accusations, claiming to have fallen victim to a scam. Obeta also denied the charge, claiming that the man was not offered a reward for his kidney and was acting altruistically.
Beatrice vehemently denied knowing anything about the purported conspiracy, and Sonia did not enter any defense after presenting the court with a medical report claiming she was unfit for trial.
Jeremy Johnson, the presiding judge, has reserved sentencing to a later date. I
It is noteworthy that under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, organ harvesting is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. This case underscores the importance of upholding ethical practices in the medical field and serves as a warning against the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.
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