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BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Convicted For Organ-trafficking



BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Convicted For Organ-trafficking

Nigerian senator and his wife have been found guilty of an organ harvesting plot.

A jury found that Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56 and medical “middleman” Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, were guilty of a conspiracy to bring a young man to Britain to give his kidney to the politician’s sick daughter.


The Ekweremadus’ 25-year-old daughter, Sonia, who has a serious kidney condition, wept in court as she was cleared by the jury, which deliberated for nearly 14 hours.

It is the first time defendants have been convicted under the Modern Slavery Act of an organ harvesting conspiracy.

The victim, a 21-year-old street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney to Sonia for an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.


The prosecution claimed the donor was offered up to £7,000 and the promise of a better life in the UK. It was alleged that the defendants tried to convince medics at the Royal Free by pretending he was Sonia’s cousin when, in fact, they were not related.

When he was rejected as unsuitable, the Ekweremadus transferred their interest to Turkey and set about finding another donor.

An investigation was launched after the young man ran away from London and slept rough for days before walking into a police station more than 20 miles away. Staines in Surrey, crying and in distress.


Jurors heard how Sonia was one of four siblings who had been privately educated in the UK.

She was studying for a masters degree at Newcastle University when she became ill in December 2019.

In September 2021, her father, a prominent Nigerian politician, enlisted the help of his medically-trained brother, Diwe Ekweremadu, to search for a donor, the court heard.


Diwe, who remains in Nigeria, turned to former classmate Dr Obeta of Southwark, south London, who recently had a private kidney transplant at the Royal Free with a Nigerian donor.

In a text, Diwe told his brother: “I had an extensive discussion last night with my classmate who had his transplant last month. I will brief you.”

Dr Obeta then engaged with Dr Chris Agbo of Vintage Health Group, a medical tourism company, as well as an agent to arrange a visa for the donor, the court heard.


As the travel plans went ahead, Sonia was encouraged to establish a relationship with the donor through text messages, jurors were told.

Jurors were shown a picture of Sonia smiling with him at a meal at a restaurant in London.

Royal Free consultant, Dr Peter Dupont, concluded the donor was not an appropriate candidate after learning he had no counselling or advice about the risks of surgery and he lacked funds for the lifelong care he would need.


Undeterred, a “corrupt interpreter” was enlisted for £1,500 to help at the donor’s second hospital meeting with a surgeon, the court was told.

Both medics agreed on their assessment, and in March last year, Dr Dupont gave his decision but no reason, citing patient confidentiality.

Sonia Ekweremadu’s family immediately resumed their donor search, the court was told.


After walking into Staines police station, the original donor told police that he did not understand why he had been brought to the UK until he met Dr Dupont.

Relaying his fears, he told police: “The doctor said I was too young, but the man said if you do not do it here, he would carry me back to Nigeria and do it there.”

I was sleeping three days outside around, looking for someone to help me save my life.”


The Ekweremadus, who have an address in Willesden Green, north-west London, and Dr Obeta, from Southwark, south London, denied the charges against them.

In opening addresses at the Old Bailey in February, lawyers for the defendants insisted they believed the donor, who can not be identified, was acting “altruistically”.

Ike Ekweremadu, who owns about 10 properties in Nigeria and Dubai, told jurors he had trusted the medical experts but suspected he was being “scammed”.


Beatrice Ekweremadu, who worked in the Nigerian auditor general’s office and has a PhD. in accountancy, said her husband took care of the household finances, and she was not involved in the donor search.

Sonia, who remains reliant on weekly dialysis, declined to give evidence, but it was said on her behalf that she knew nothing of a reward offered to donors. She tearfully hugged her father as he was sent down from the dock.

Following the guilty verdicts, Mr Justice Johnson remanded the defendants into custody to be sentenced on 5 May.

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