Ekweremadu, wife, doctor jailed in UK for organ harvesting

Ike Ekweremadu and wife Beatrice

An Old Bailey Court in the United Kingdom on Friday jailed Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice and a doctor for conspiring to traffic a market trader to the UK to harvest his kidney.

Ekweremadu was jailed nine years and eight months, his wife Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months in prison, while the doctor Obinna Obeta received a 10-year prison term.

Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and 25-year-old daughter Sonia stood trial accused of a conspiracy to bring the man to Britain from Lagos for his organ.

The court found the couple and the 50-year-old doctor guilty in March but cleared Sonia of the charges.

Justice Jeremy Johnson told the defendants: “In each of your cases the offence you committed is so serious that neither a fine nor a community sentence can be justified.”

The court heard that the 21-year-old street trader was to be rewarded for donating the organ to Sonia in an £80,000 private procedure at London’s Royal Free Hospital.

The case marked the first time defendants have been convicted under the Modern Slavery Act of an organ harvesting conspiracy.

The prosecution claimed the donor was offered up to £7,000 along with the promise of a better life in the UK.

The court further heard that the donor, who could not be named for legal reasons, was falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin and that he was unaware he was to give out his kidney until his first appointment with a consultant at the hospital.

On the question of harm to the victim, the judge said: “The transplant did not go ahead but each intended that it should go ahead and you each intended the harm to the donor that would result.

“He would have faced spending the rest of his life with only one kidney and without the requisite funding for the required aftercare.”