Crime and Safety

Leading Nigerian politician convicted of ‘terrible’ organ harvesting plot

On Thursday, a senior Nigerian politician and his wife were found guilty of conspiring to transport a street vendor to the UK as part of an organ harvesting plot.

Aike Ekweremadu, who was Vice President of the Nigerian Senate and a lawyer, and his wife Beatrice were accused of arranging a trip for a 21-year-old man to the UK to use him for a kidney donation.

Prosecutors said the politician and his wife were behind the recruitment of the man at a Lagos street market and that they arranged for the victim to provide a kidney to their 25-year-old daughter Sonia for £80,000 (nearly $100,000). ) transplant surgery at a London hospital.

The victim, who was taken to London in February 2022 believed he was being taken to the capital to work and that under the agreement he would be paid thousands of pounds, prosecutors said.

Kidney donations are legal in the UK, but it is a criminal offense to reward someone with money or other material benefits for doing so.

This verdict was the first to convict the suspects of the crime. organ harvesting conspiracy administered by the UK modern slavery laws.

As part of the ruse, the victim was described as Sonia’s cousin on his UK visa application, and Equeremadus pretended to the doctors that the young man was Sonia’s relative.

But the doctor at the Royal Hospital suspected the circumstances surrounding the proposed operation and decided that it could not be performed.

Equeremadus then tried to find more potential donors in Turkeyprosecutors said.

Should these parents spend the rest of their lives in prison for this crime?

The case came to light when the victim told British police that he had been taken out of Nigeria and that someone had tried to transplant his kidney.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Joan Jakimek called the case “appalling”.

“The convicted defendants showed a complete disregard for the well-being, health and well-being of the victim and used their considerable influence for a high degree of control over everything, while the victim had a limited understanding of what was really going on here,” the statement said. .

Dr Obinna Obeta, who prosecutors called a medical “middleman” in the conspiracy, was also found guilty on Thursday by London’s Central Criminal Court.

Sonia Ekweremadu, who has a serious kidney condition, was acquitted by the jury.

The defendants were ordered to remain in custody, and the verdict was scheduled for 5 May.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press article and may have revised it prior to publication to ensure it meets our editorial standards.

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