Organ Harvesting: Anxiety as Ekweremadu, Wife, Doctor Face Sentencing in UK Today

Organ Harvesting: Anxiety as Ekweremadu, Wife, Doctor Face Sentencing in UK Today

  • Former Nigerian Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, and a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta, are set to receive a verdict today from The Old Bailey, a UK court
  • The three were convicted for organ trafficking in March, in what is a landmark case for the UK criminal court system
  • The maximum sentence under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, which applies to the case, is life imprisonment

UK - The Old Bailey, a central criminal court in the United Kingdom (UK), is set to deliver a verdict today in a landmark case involving former Nigerian Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice and a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta, who were convicted for organ trafficking in March, according to BBC Africa.

This verdict is the first of its kind in the UK criminal court system. The Ekweremadus and their doctor will likely receive sentences ranging between 10 years and life imprisonment under the Modern Slavery Act.

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Organ Harvesting/Ekweremadu/Sentencing in UK
The Old Bailey, UK, is set to deliver a verdict today in a landmark case involving the Ekweremadus. Photo credits: Facebook/Ike Ekweremadu, ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images
Source: UGC

The Ekweremadus ordeal: Background of the case

Senator Ekweremadu, his wife, and the doctor were involved in a conspiracy to bring a young Nigerian man, David Nwamini, to Britain to exploit him for his kidney, which was needed for Ekweremadu’s sick daughter, Sonia.

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The daughter was initially accused of being part of the crime but was later cleared of the same charge after jurors deliberated for nearly 14 hours.

Denial of charges and prosecutor’s arguments

While Senator Ekweremadu and his wife denied the charges, the prosecutor, Hugh Davies, told the jury that the behaviour of the Ekweremadus showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”.

Dr Obeta also denied the charge, claiming that the victim was not offered a reward for his kidney and was acting altruistically.

Pleas for clemency for the Ekweremadus

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Meanwhile, there have been several pleas for clemency on behalf of the Ekweremadus, with many highlighting the lawmaker's achievements and contributions to Nigeria and beyond, stating that he is a statesman of impeccable character who happened to make a mistake.

Some have implored the UK government to temper justice with mercy, noting that the parliamentarian acted on the purview of parental instincts to save his daughter and not for commercial purposes.

Organ donation laws in the UK

While it is legal in Britain to donate a kidney, it is a crime to do so for financial or material reward.

This is the first time organ harvesting conspiracy charges have been brought under the UK’s 2015 Modern Slavery Act. The maximum sentence under the legislation is life imprisonment.

David Nwamini: Victim’s testimony

During the weeks-long trial, the 21-year-old victim testified that the Ekweremadus had flown him to Britain to harvest his kidney.

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The kidney was intended for Sonia, who remains on dialysis with a renal condition, in return for up to £7,000 ($8,800). The young man said he had been recruited by a doctor working for the politician and had thought he was coming to the UK to work.

Ekweremadu: IHRC writes UK government, plea for clemency

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) appealed to the Government of the United Kingdom for leniency in the sentencing of Ekweremadu, alongside his wife Beatrice and Dr Obinna Obeta.

Ambassador at Large and Head of Diplomatic Mission to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador (Dr.) Duru Hezekiah said Ekweremadu is a patriotic Nigerian who has served the Nigerian Senate thrice since 2003.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Nurudeen Lawal avatar

Nurudeen Lawal (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) Nurudeen Lawal is an AFP-certified journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. He received his B/Arts degree in Literature-in-English from OAU. Lawal is the Head of the Politics/CA Desk at Legit.ng, where he applies his expertise to provide incisive coverage of events. He was named the Political Desk Head of the Year (Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award 2023). He is also a certified fact-checker (Dubawa fellowship, 2020). Contact him at lawal.nurudeen@corp.legit.ng or +2347057737768.

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