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Organ harvesting plot: UK jails NG senator

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

The victim was lured to the UK with promise of a job and money reward.

A Nigerian senator, Ike Ekweremadu and his wife who was earlier convicted by the United kingdom over an organ harvesting plot involving a young Nigerian man who was trafficked to the UK to exploit his kidney, have been jailed, together with the doctor that was involved according to statement released by the Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The UK’s Central Criminal Court (also known as the Old Bailey) sentenced Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and Dr. Obinna Obeta to terms of nine years and eight months, four years and six months, and ten years in jail, respectively.

The verdict represents the country’s first conviction under its contemporary slavery laws. In March, the three were found guilty of trafficking a 21-year-old street trader to the UK to give a kidney for their daughter. Sonia Ekweremadu, the daughter of the defendants, is suffering from a deteriorating kidneys and requires frequent dialysis, as stated in the CPS statement. The victim was allegedly brought to the United Kingdom with the promise of a job and a reward of up to £7,000 ($8,810), but he had no idea that he would be forced to donate a kidney in exchange.

This was a horrific plot to exploit a vulnerable victim.

However, the plan to remove the young man’s kidney was foiled by a medical expert who, upon becoming aware of the unfolding circumstances related to the conspiracy, began to harbor suspicions about their legality. Thereafter, the victim fled, sleeping homeless for days until reporting the plot to UK police in May, as contained in the CPS statement. According to the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Joanne Jakymec, who was quoted for this statement, “This was a horrific plot to exploit a vulnerable victim by trafficking him to the UK for the purpose of transplanting his kidney.”

Jakymec went on to explain that the guilty defendants exhibited complete contempt for the victim’s safety, health, and well-being and utilized their powerful influence to maintain a high level of control all through, with the victim having little awareness of what was planned for him and the whole situation. Detective Inspector Esther Richardson of the Met’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Command called the conviction “landmark” and praised the victim for his bravery in standing out against the perpetrators.

Many prominent Nigerians wrote to the UK court appealing to be lenient.

Former Nigerian Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu’s plight garnered widespread sympathy from Nigerians who saw him and his wife as unfortunate victims who were doing everything they could to care for their ill daughter. Many prominent Nigerians, including ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to the UK court appealing them to be lenient with him prior to when he was sentenced. Also, Nigeria’s Senate President Ahmad Lawan reportedly appealed with the British judicial system on Ekweremadu’s behalf to “temper justice with mercy.”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila praised Ekweremadu as “a brilliant lawyer, a distinguished public servant, and a dedicated family man.” Sidie Mohamed Tunis, the speaker of the parliament of the West African regional body ECOWAS, claimed he had also written to the Old Bailey Court’s head clerk appealing for leniency on behalf of the Ekweremadu’s. Be aware that Ekweremadu was the speaker of the ECOWAS parliament’s presiding body from 2011 to 2015.

Nigerian questioned the appeal of a convicted criminal.

Nevertheless, the UK court was unfazed by the appeals of Nigeria’s high profiled persons, while several in Nigeria questioned the rationality of using their influence to appeal for the release of a convicted criminal. A tweet by IPC Justice, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting corruption in politics asserts that “If the Speaker of the House of Representatives advocates for clemency for someone convicted of a serious crime, it could give the impression that Nigeria condones criminal activity.”


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AN-Toni
AN-Toni
Editor
7 months ago

Organ harvesting plot: UK jails NG senator. The victim was lured to the UK with promise of a job and money reward.Express your point of view. 

Abusi
Abusi
Member
7 months ago

It is unfortunate Senator Ekweremadu found himself in this mess. The law is not a respecter of anybody. I just hope that his sentencing can be reduced because the crime was committed out of care for a child.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
7 months ago

It is important to combat such practices and ensure that organ transplantation is done ethically and with the welfare of the donor in mind.
If the senator was found guilty of involvement in illegal organ harvesting in the UK, he must face severe punishment.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
Member
7 months ago

If the senator is found guilty he should be punished and serve as example to other they should always do thing legal not illegal because they are rich should not mean they can be doing anyhow they like trying to kill one person to save other person life is wrong

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
7 months ago

The senator and his wife commits a dreadful atrocity that deserve the heavy sentence. Such action should be punished to serve example for others that will want to utilize their high influence on the weak ones.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
7 months ago

The Ekweremadus put themselves in this dire situation by trying to harvest organ in the first place and unfortunately they did it a foreign land where the law and regulation biding the country can not be bend for anyone regardless.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
7 months ago

Organ harvesting plot: UK jails NG senator. Former Nigerian Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu’s put himself into the mess. He should face the law because nobody is above the law. This will teach others a big lesson not do anything wrong due their wealth, their stardard or their famous in a society. And is not all about the money, if you think you can do anything and get away with it God is watching all of us

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
7 months ago

Nemesis has caught up with Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his family who was to construct medical facilities that will serve purpose but embezzle the fund meant for that project. He should serve the jail term.

DimOla
DimOla
Member
7 months ago

I have no pity whatsoever for senator Ike Ekweremadu and the family because when they were spending the stolen money nobody knew about it so let them face the consequences of the illegal actions of trying to harvest the kidney of an innocent boy.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
6 months ago

Organ harvesting plot: UK jails NG senator. Senator Ekweremadu action was very wrong and he has been found guilty so he should face the court law. No one is above the law